Etmopterus alphus

Ebert, Straube, Leslie & Weigmann, 2016

Classification: Elasmobranchii Squaliformes Etmopteridae

Reference of the original description
Ebert, D.A. & Straube, N. & Leslie, R.W. & Weigmann, S. (2016)
Etmopterus alphus n. sp.: a new lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from the south-western Indian Ocean. African Journal of Marine Science, 38(3), 329–340

Images of types

Description :

Citation: Etmopterus alphus Ebert, Straube, Leslie & Weigmann, 2016: In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 07/2024

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Etmopterus alphus paratype ZMH 26111, adult male, 323 mm TL © Dr. Simon Weigmann, Elasmobranch Research Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany
Common names
eng Whitecheek Lanternshark

Short Description
Original diagnosis after EBERT, STRAUBE, LESLIE & WEIGMANN, 2016 [24432]: Etmopterus alphus is a relatively small, slender species of linear-denticled Etmopterus that can be separated from its closest congeners within the E. lucifer clade by a combination of characteristics, including the length of its anterior flank markings being much shorter than its posterior branch, black flank markings sharply demarcated by surrounding lighter to whitish lateral markings, a prominent white spot on each cheek, a single white stripe extending the length of the midback and two parallel rows of prominent dark pores extending between pectoral and pelvic fins. Its closest geographic congener E. sculptus has an anterior branch that is longer than its posterior branch, a thinner posterior flank marking (0.2–0.4% vs 0.6–0.9% TL) and a higher spiral valve count (8–9 vs 5–7) than E. alphus. The new species can be separated from its closest morphological congener, the Australasian E. molleri, by its shorter anterior (6.0–10.6% vs 8.0–11.5% TL) and posterior (9.3–12.7% vs 11.0–15.4% TL) flank-marking branches, biogeography and genetics.

off central Mozambique and on the southern end of the Madagascar Ridge at Walters Shoals [24432]

Females mature by at least 330 mm TL and males between c. 290 and 309 mm TL. A single female had five ovarian eggs in utero [24432]

Size / Weight / Age
TL max: 390 mm TL 8female) and 336 mm TL (male) [24432]

marine: depth range 472 - 792 m [24432]

Teeth dissimilar in upper and lower jaw; upper teeth multicuspid in three functional series, functional teeth in lower jaw unicuspid in single series, with approximately five series of replacement teeth in upper and lower jaw; multicuspid upper teeth small, perpendicular, with strong central cusp flanked by three lateral cusplets on each side, decreasing in size distally; teeth in lower jaw fused into single row, blade-like, cusp oblique. Tooth count in first row of upper jaw 30 (26–30) and in first row of lower jaw 34 (31–34). [24432]

shark-references Species-ID=14698;