Pygmy shark - Euprotomicrus bispinatus


Illustration © Marc Dando

This is thought (at present) to be the smallest shark in the sea. It is a tiny, cylindrical shark with a bulbous snout, large eyes, and luminous organs on the underside of its body. Its gill slits are tiny and it has low lateral keels on its caudal peduncle. The shark has a tiny flag-like first dorsal fin which is a quarter of the length of their second dorsal fin. Its caudal fin is nearly symmetrical and paddle-shaped,

Black top and luminous underside with light-edged fins.

At birth, the shark is 2.36 to 3.93 inches [6-10 cm] long. Males mature at 6.69 to7.48 inches [17 to19 cm], while females mature at 8.66 to 9.05 inches [22 to 23 cm]. Its maximum length is 10.62 inches [27 cm].

These sharks are epipelagic, mesopelagic, and perhaps bathypelagic in the mid-ocean. They can be found at 6000 to 7-32605 ft [1829 to 9938 m], and they migrate from the surface at night to more than 4921.3 ft [1500 m], at least to midwater, perhaps the bottom, by day.

They prefer oceanic and amphitemperate areas in the south Atlantic, south Indian and Pacific Oceans.


  • Prey – Deepwater squid, bony fishes, and some crustaceans.

  • Reproduction – Ovoviviparous, with 8 pups per litter.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Not Evaluated