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Author: Smith & Radcliffe, 1912

Squaliolus laticaudus Smith & Radcliffe, 1912

Diagnosis: snout pointed, conical, nostrils very near tip; labial furrows extending posteriorly past spiracle; large pre-oral pouch present, but no pre-oral clefts. Eyes large, nearly circular. Upper teeth smooth, lanceolate, lower teeth broadly triangular, cusp angling laterally from base, bases overlapping. Gill-slits very small, sub-equal in size. Spiracle above and behind eye, large. Pectoral fins relatively short; first dorsal fin small, its origin over posterior tip of pectoral fin when pectoral depressed, its spine exposed or enclosed in skin; second dorsal fin without spine, long, originating before pelvic fin insertion in females, behind in males; caudal fin broad, upper lobe origin posterior to lower lobe origin, both lobes rounded, upper tip truncate. Photophores present on ventral surface. Colour: dark brown to black. Size: to 25 cm, males mature at 15-22 cm, females at 16-19 cm.

Habitat: pelagic, epipelagic over continental shelf and slope; vertical migrators, from 200-500 m to as deep as 1,200 m. Food: ?fishes, cephalopods. Reproduction: ?ovoviviparous, possibly 12 young, size at birth less than 80 mm.

Distribution: off Madeira, Bay of Biscay. Elsewhere, probably southward (reported off Cape Verde Is.); also, in north-western Atlantic off Bermuda, south-western Atlantic off Brazil, western Indian Ocean and north-west Pacific from the Philippines to Japan.

Dwarf shark (Squaliolus laticaudus)