Pygmy Shark

The pygmy shark is the second smallest shark species after the dwarf lanternshark. It is a squaliform shark belonging to the family of kitefin sharks.

Pygmy shark image
Pygmy Shark, Euprotomicrus bispinatus, Hawaii, ( Central Pacific Ocean )r – Image bought from Smugmug

Pygmy Shark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Squaliformes
Family Dalatiidae
Genus Euprotomicrus
Scientific Name E. bispinatus


Male pygmy sharks are around 6.7-7.5 inches, while females are bigger at 8.7-9.1 inches. Their bodies are tiny and cylindrical, with a bulbous snout, light-edged fins, and little gills. The second dorsal fin is noticeably larger than the flag-like first one, and the caudal fin is symmetrical and shaped like a paddle.

The pygmy sharks are black.

Where do they live

Map Of The Pygmy Shark’s Habitat

Pygmy Shark Habitat Map

These sharks live in the amphitemperate areas in the south Atlantic, south Indian, and Pacific Oceans. They move throughout the epipelagic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic zones, living at depths of 6,000 -32,605 ft and migrating to 4,921 ft during the day.



Their diet includes bony fish, crustaceans, and squids, though the ones they feed on tend to be smaller in size for the shark to consume.

Pygmy Shark Teeth
Pygmy Shark, Euprotomicrus bispinatus, showing the upper gripping teeth and the lower cutting teeth, Hawaii, ( Central Pacific Ocean )r – Image bought from Smugmug


These sharks are ovoviviparous, giving live birth to 8 pups per litter.


Similar to the Tailight shark, these sharks have a light-generating organ on the underside of their bodies.

Interactions with humans

The IUCN classifies this shark as “Least Concern” or “LC”. New Zealand’s Department of Classification allocated the pygmy shark as “Not Threatened”, with the added qualifier “Secure Overseas”.

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