Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205).
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Distribution

Range Description

As presently known, restricted to a small area of the Caribbean Sea off Colombia and Venezuela. More research is required to better define geographic range, but probably a naturally restricted species.
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Western Central Atlantic: Colombia and Venezuela.
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Colombia and Venezuela.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 170 mm TL
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Max. size

17.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 27618)); 20 cm TL (female)
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Diagnostic Description

Body strongly marked with light and dark areas, streaks and spots; very small (probably the smallest shark) with a somewhat flattened head and snout (its depth 2/3 or less than its width); moderately large eyes; slender, needle-shaped denticles in random, dense array; fins moderately large.
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Type Information

Paratype for Etmopterus perryi Springer & Burgess
Catalog Number: USNM 206095
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1964
Locality: Off Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic
Depth (m): 283 to 292
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Burgess, G. H. 1985. Copeia. 1985 (3): 588, figs. 3, 4.
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Paratype for Etmopterus perryi Springer & Burgess
Catalog Number: USNM 206094
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Photograph
Year Collected: 1965
Locality: Off Caribbean Coast, Venezuela, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic
Depth (m): 375 to 375
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Burgess, G. H. 1985. Copeia. 1985 (3): 588, figs. 3, 4.
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Holotype for Etmopterus perryi Springer & Burgess
Catalog Number: USNM 206093
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Photograph
Year Collected: 1964
Locality: Off Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic
Depth (m): 283 to 292
  • Holotype: Springer, S. & Burgess, G. H. 1985. Copeia. 1985 (3): 588, figs. 3, 4.
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Paratype for Etmopterus perryi Springer & Burgess
Catalog Number: USNM 206221
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1964
Locality: Caribbean Sea, Off Barranquilla, Colombia, Atlantico, Colombia, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic
Depth (m): 326 to 359
Vessel: Oregon
  • Paratype: Springer, S. & Burgess, G. H. 1985. Copeia. 1985 (3): 588, figs. 3, 4.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Recorded from the upper continental slope at depths of 283 to 439 m (Springer and Burgess 1985, Compagno, in prep. a). Ovoviviparous. Maximum size is about 21 cm total length (TL). Males maturing at about 16 to 17.5 cm TL, adult females from 15.5 cm TL and gravid females observed at 19 to 20 cm TL. Fetuses 5.5 to 6.0 cm TL (possibly near term) (Springer and Burgess 1985, Compagno, in preparation a). Springer and Burgess (1985) report gravid females with 2 to 3 eggs or embryos.

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total length): Female: from 15.5 cm TL; Male: ~16.0 to 17.5 cm TL.
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): 21.2 cm TL.
Size at birth: >6.0 cm TL.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Litter sizes of 2 to 3 embryos observed.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathypelagic; marine; depth range 283 - 439 m (Ref. 27618)
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Depth range based on 8 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 8 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 287.5 - 402.5
  Temperature range (°C): 10.547 - 13.266
  Nitrate (umol/L): 20.118 - 25.152
  Salinity (PPS): 35.207 - 35.623
  Oxygen (ml/l): 2.728 - 2.973
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.025 - 1.539
  Silicate (umol/l): 8.331 - 13.606

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 287.5 - 402.5

Temperature range (°C): 10.547 - 13.266

Nitrate (umol/L): 20.118 - 25.152

Salinity (PPS): 35.207 - 35.623

Oxygen (ml/l): 2.728 - 2.973

Phosphate (umol/l): 1.025 - 1.539

Silicate (umol/l): 8.331 - 13.606
 
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Depth: 283 - 439m.
From 283 to 439 meters.

Habitat: bathypelagic.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Leandro, L.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M., Heupel, M.R., Simpfendorfer, C.A. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
A poorly known deepwater shark restricted to the upper continental slope off the Caribbean coast of Colombia and Venezuela in depths of 283 to 439 m. Little known of its biology. Information on interactions with fisheries are limited, but is probably rarely encountered due to its very small size (to 21 cm total length). Its restricted geographic and bathymetric range, as presently known, together with its reported low fecundity (litter size of 2 to 3) may be cause for concern if it is being taken as bycatch in any fisheries. However, insufficient information is presently available to assess the species beyond Data Deficient.
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Population

Population
Not known, but apparently a rare deepwater species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
None known. Of no importance for fisheries because of its extremely small size. Probably encountered only very infrequently by fisheries.

Utilisation
None known, probably discarded (probably too small to be utilised).
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None in place. Like many deepwater chondrichthyan species more information on biology, ecology and importance in fisheries are required. Any expanding deepwater fisheries in the region (which could impact its habitat and population) need to be carefully monitored and managed.
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Wikipedia

Dwarf lanternshark

The dwarf lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi) is a little-known species of dogfish shark in the family Etmopteridae and possibly the smallest shark in the world, reaching a maximum known length of 21.2 cm (8.3 in). It is known to be present only on the upper continental slopes off Colombia and Venezuela, at a depth of 283–439 m (928–1,440 ft). This species can be identified by its small size at maturity, long flattened head, and pattern of black ventral markings and a mid-dorsal line. Like other members of its genus, it is capable of producing light from a distinctive array of photophores. Reproduction is aplacental viviparous, with females gestating two or three young at a time. The dwarf lanternshark is not significant to commercial fisheries, but could be threatened by mortality from bycatch; the degree of impact from human activities on its population is unknown.

Taxonomy and phylogeny[edit]

American ichthyologists Stewart Springer and George H. Burgess described the dwarf lanternshark from specimens collected via trawling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research ship Oregon in 1964. They named the new species in honor of noted shark biologist Perry W. Gilbert, and published their findings in a 1985 Copeia paper. The type specimen is a 18.2 cm (7.2 in) long female caught in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Colombia. This species is grouped with the velvet belly lantern shark (E. spinax), Caribbean lanternshark (E. hillianus), fringefin lanternshark (E. schultzi), brown lanternshark (E. unicolor), broadbanded lanternshark (E. gracilispinis), and combtooth lanternshark (E. decacuspidatus) in having irregularly arranged, needle-shaped dermal denticles.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

At present, the dwarf lanternshark has only been reported from a small area of the Caribbean Sea off the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, occurring between Barranquilla and Santa Marta, near the Guajira Peninsula, and between the Los Testigos Islands and Grenada.[2] This shark apparently inhabits the upper continental slope at a depth of 283–439 m (928–1,440 ft).

Description[edit]

The dwarf lanternshark has a long, wide, flattened head comprising a fourth to a fifth of its total length. The eyes are large, twice as long as high, with the anterior and posterior corners acute. The nares are large and preceded by poorly developed flaps of skin. There are 25–32 tooth rows in the upper jaw and 30–34 tooth rows in the lower jaw. The upper teeth of adult males have a single cusp flanked by two pairs of smaller cusplets, while the upper teeth of females are more robust and have only one pair of lateral cusplets flanking the central cusp. The lower teeth each have a single, strongly oblique cusp, and their bases are interlocked to form a continuous cutting surface. Scattered, sparse papillae are inside the mouth and on the edges of the gill arches. The five pairs of gill slits are small.[2]

The trunk is short, with two relatively closely spaced, large dorsal fins bearing grooved spines in front. The first dorsal fin originates over the trailing margins of the pectoral fins. The second dorsal fin has twice the area of the first and is larger than the pectoral or pelvic fins, and originates over the end of the pelvic fin bases. There is no anal fin. The caudal fin is low, with a moderate lower lobe and a ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. The skin is densely covered by thin, needle-like dermal denticles in a random pattern, except for the lips and the tips of the fins. This shark is dark brown with a striking and distinctive pattern of black markings on its ventral surface, a continuous or broken, fine black line along the middle of its back (but without a white band like in the similar Caribbean lanternshark), a black band on the end of its caudal fin, and a dark blotch on its lower caudal fin lobe.[2][3] Curiously, some of the ventral black markings are composed of light-producing photophores, while others (including the patch behind the pelvic fins) are composed of pigment-containing chromatophores.[2] The largest known individual is 21.2 cm (8.3 in) long.[1]

Biology and ecology[edit]

Perhaps the smallest living shark species,[4] male dwarf lanternsharks mature at a length of 16–17.5 cm (6.3–6.9 in) and females from a length of 15.5 cm (6.1 in) with 19–20 cm (7.5–7.9 in) long pregnant individuals known.[1] The spined pygmy shark (Squaliolus laticaudus) and the pygmy ribbontail catshark (Eridacnis radcliffei) are known to attain maturity at comparably small sizes; difficulties in assessing the reproductive maturity of sharks precludes stating one of these species as definitively smaller than the others.[4] This species is aplacental viviparous, with the developing fetuses being sustained by a yolk sac until birth. Females bear litters of two or three young, each measuring 5.5–6.0 cm (2.2–2.4 in) long.[1]

Human interactions[edit]

Because of its very small size, the dwarf lanternshark is of no economic value. Its low fecundity and limited known range may merit concern if commercial fisheries in the region are taking it as bycatch, though there is insufficient information for the International Union for Conservation of Nature to assess it beyond Data Deficient.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Leandro, L. (2006). Etmopterus perryi. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Springer, S.; Burgess, G.H. (August 5, 1985). "Two New Dwarf Dogsharks (Etmopterus, Squalidae), Found off the Caribbean Coast of Colombia". Copeia 1985 (3): 584–591. doi:10.2307/1444748. JSTOR 1444748. 
  3. ^ Compagno, L.J.V.; Dando, M.; Fowler, S. (2005). Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-691-12072-0. 
  4. ^ a b Martin, R.A. (28 July 1999). "What is the Smallest Species of Shark?". ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research. Retrieved September 27, 2009. 
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