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 Spined pygmy shark (Squaliolus laticaudus)

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Spined pygmy shark
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Dogfish sharks (Squaliformes)
    Family: Dogfish sharks (Squalidae)
      Genus: Squaliolus (Squaliolus)


Scientific: Squaliolus laticaudus
German: Zwerghai
English: Spined pygmy shark
French: Squale nain
Spanish: Tollo pigmeo espinudo


Very small, spindle shaped body. Pointed, long and bulbously shaped snout. The only known shark with a spine on its first dorsal fin but not on the second one. First dorsal fin with its origin opposite to the inner margins or rear tips of pectoral fins. No anal fin.


Dark (black) with conspicuously light-margined fins.


Oceanic and nearly circumtropical. Western Atlantic: Bermuda, southern Brazil, northern Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: France and Madeira. Indian Ocean: Somalia. Western Pacific: Japan, Taiwan, Philippines.


This species lives over the continental slopes, between 200 m and 500 m depth. It is known to vertically migrate. Spined pygmy sharks have photophores that produces bioluminescent light on the undersides of their bodies. ( A few are also located on their backs. These photophores are also used for "counter shading", making them less visible against the ligher background (i.e.the surface and surface light) from below and therefore more protected from predators.


Cephalopods, lanternfishes and other fishes of deeper water.


Probably the smallest shark of all, maximum size about 25 cm.


Aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous). Males reach sexual maturity at about 15 cm, females at about 17 cm to 20 cm.

 Similar Species



Status in the IUCN Red List:

No Entry found in Red List.

 Danger to Humans


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