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 Velvet belly (Etmopterus spinax)

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Velvet belly
No image of Velvet belly found in the Shark Database
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Dogfish sharks (Squaliformes)
    Family: Dogfish sharks (Squalidae)
      Genus: Etmopterus (Etmopterus)


Scientific: Etmopterus spinax
German: Schwarzer Dornhai
English: Velvet belly
French: Sagre commun
Spanish: Negrito


Very small, stout-bodied shark. Two spiny dorsal fins. First dorsal fin origin behind the free rear tips of the pectoral fins. Second dorsal fin over the end of the pelvic fin base. Very small pectoral fins. Fairly long tail, no anal fin.


Brown upper body, black underside of snout and body. Black, elongated margin behind and above the pelvic fin. Other black marks at caudal fin base and along its axis.


Eastern Atlantic: Iceland, Norway to Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Azores, Cape Verde Islands, western Mediterranean. South Africa.


This lantern shark is very common and can be found close to or on the bottom, mainly between 200 m and 500 m on the outer continental shelves and upper slopes, down to maximum about 2000 m.


Feed on small fishes, molluscs, and crustaceans.


Average size about 40 cm, to about 60 cm maximum.


Aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous). 6 to 20 pups per litter. Size at birth between 12 cm and 14 cm. Males and females reach sexual maturity between 33 cm and 35 cm.

 Similar Species

Similar species exist and taxonomic features have to be used to differentiate between the different species.


Status in the IUCN Red List:

No Entry found in Red List.

 Danger to Humans


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