Splendid Lanternshark

The Splendid Lanternshark is a type of dogfish living in the Western Pacific. It is characterized by the light-producing photophores on its body, common in all lanternsharks.

Splendid Lanternshark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Squaliformes
Family Etmopteridae
Genus Etmopterus
Scientific name E. splendidus


This species is small, growing up to 30 cm (11.8 in). Immature females have measured 25 cm (10 in) in length.

Commonly confused with other members of its family, this species has a lean body with a dark purple-black upper half and bluish-black lower half. Its large eyes are nearer to the snout tip than the gill slits. The two dorsal fins are grooved, and the anal fin is absent. The pre-caudal fins have light, red-brown webbing, and a light patch is found between the base and terminal lobe of the tail. There is a dark, oval marking near the tail base but no visible bands on the tail fin.

Where do they live

Map Of The Splendid Lanternshark’s Habitat

Splendid lanternshark Habitat Map

This shark occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, mainly in Japan and Taiwan, with sightings in Java, Indonesia, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu. It inhabits the upper continental slopes at depths of 120-210 m (393-690 ft), though it has been reported at 730 m (2395 ft) deep.



Their primary diet is squid and other invertebrates.


They follow an ovoviviparous mode of reproduction. Their litter size and details about their life cycle remain unrecorded.


These sharks have numerous photophores or light-producing glands scattered on their belly. They provide counter illumination, which helps the shark attract prey.

Human interactions

This species is elusive and rarely caught by deep-sea trawlers. If caught, it finds use for fishmeal and liver oil. The IUCN has classified this species as “Least Concern” or “LC.”

Recommended Blog Posts

Famous Sharks