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Author: Bigelow et al., 1953

Diagnostic Features:
A moderately slender-bodied lanternshark with a long tail, distance from pelvic insertions to ventral caudal origin about as long as head, about equal to distance between pectoral and pelvic bases, and about 1.4 times interdorsal space; distance between pectoral and pelvic bases moderately long in adults, slightly less than head length; distance from snout tip to first dorsal spine about equal to distance from first dorsal spine to second dorsal insertion. Head width about equal to preoral snout; prespiracular length about equal to distance from spiracles to pectoral origins; gill openings very short, about as wide as spiracle, 1/3 eye length or less; upper teeth generally with less than 3 pairs of cusplets. Origin of first dorsal fin opposite inner margins of pectoral fins, dorsal fin base much closer to pectoral bases than pelvics; interdorsal space short, about as long as distance from snout tip to first gill slits; second dorsal fin much larger than first, over twice its area; distance between second dorsal base and upper caudal origin about 1.4 in interdorsal space; caudal fin long and narrow, length of dorsal caudal margin about equal to head length. Lateral trunk denticles with very short, stout, hooked, conical crowns, wide-spaced but not arranged in regular longitudinal rows; snout largely covered with denticles; no rows of greatly enlarged denticles on flanks above pectoral fins. Distal margins of fins largely covered with skin, not fringed with naked ceratotrichia. Colour dark brown or grey-black, with underside of snout and abdomen black, an elongated broad black mark running above and behind pelvic fins, and other elongated black marks at caudal fin base and along its axis.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Atlantic: Northern Gulf of Mexico, Texas to Florida (USA), Nicaragua.

Habitat and Biology:
A common lanternshark of the upper continental slopes at depths of 348 to 465 m. Caught in considerable numbers sporadically, suggesting that this shark occurs in schools. Pieces of rather large squid found in the stomachs of these sharks suggest that they may feed communally, with an entire school attacking and demolishing squid that would be normally too large for a single individual to overcome.

Maximum total length about 23 cm; adult males 20 to 23 cm, adult females 23 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Type material:
Holotype: U.S. National Museum of Natural History, USNM 160859, 203 mm adult male. Type. Locality: Northern Gulf of Mexico, 29°52'N, 91°33'W, 403 m depth.

Green lanternshark (Etmopterus virens)