Caribbean Lanternshark

The Caribbean shark is a species of lanternshark. As its name indicates, this shark can be found throughout the Caribbean, except for the western or southern parts.

Caribbean Lanternshark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Squaliformes
Family Etmopteridae
Genus Etmopterus
Scientific Name E. hillianus


Usually, the females of this species are a bit larger than the males. A mature male Caribbean lanternshark is about 8-10 inches long, while the females are around 11 inches.

Their bodies are stout, with broad heads. One can observe inside their mouth rows of slender, sharp teeth in the upper jaw and broader teeth in the lower one. The teeth in the lower jaw help in crushing food.  The second dorsal fin is larger than the first.

When seen from above, this shark appears brown or grey. When looked at from below, it appears white. A black, elongated band exists above and behind the pelvic fins, while several smaller but tinier marks are present around the axis and base of the caudal fin.

Where do they live

Map Of The Caribbean Lanternshark’s Habitat

Caribbean lanternshark Habitat Map

This shark ranges from the northwest Atlantic from Virginia to Florida, encompassing the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Lesser Antilles.

These sharks are bottom dwellers, swimming close to the sandy parts of the upper continental and insular slopes between 1020 and 2280 feet.



These sharks are aplacental viviparous, i.e., the eggs hatch inside the mother, but the young continue to develop inside her until they are ready to emerge. At birth, the sharks are 3.5 inches long. An average litter consists of 4-5 pups.

Interactions with humans

As no commercial interest in this shark has been expressed by fisheries, its population remains stable. Henceforth, the IUCN classifies the Caribbean lanternshark as “Least Concern” or “LC”.

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