Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps



Compiler and date details

4 June 2011 - Douglass F. Hoese & Jennifer E. Gates


The family contains five genera and more than 40 species worldwide. Currently, two genera and 12 species are known from Australia (Last & Stevens 2009). Australian species are treated in White (2008) and Last & Stevens (2009). Other species are treated in Compagno et al. (2005). The family has often been included as a subfamily of the Dalatiidae (Hoese & Gates 2006) or the Squalidae (Compagno 1984). Relationships within the group are discussed by Shirai & Nakaya (1990). A molecular phylogeny of the family was presented by Straube et al. (2010).

Members of the family are distinctive in having light organs. Species are found in all oceans usually beyond the continental shelf. They are free swimming. Some pelagic species live in the midwaters whereas others live near the bottom (benthopelagic); they are found in depths of 50-4500 m. Species are generally small, ranging in size from 20 cm to 1 m.


General References

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249. [69]

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp.

Garman, S. 1913. The Plagiostomia (sharks, skates and rays). Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University 36: 1-528 pls 1-77 [pl. 10]

Hoese, D.F. & Gates, J.E. 2006. Families Dalatiidae and Centrophoridae. pp. 140-152 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. [140]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Shirai, S. & Nakaya, K. 1990. Interrelationships of the Etmopterinae (Chondrichthys, Squaliformes). pp. 347-356 in Pratt, H.L. Jr, Gruber, S.H. & Taniuchi, T. Elasmobranchs as living resources: advances in the biology, ecology, systematics, and the status of the fisheries. NOAA Technical Report 90: 347-356

Straube, N, Igl├ęsias, S.P., Sellos, D.Y., Kriwet, J. & Schliewen, U.K. 2010. Molecular phylogeny and node time estimation of bioluminescent Lantern Sharks (Elasmobranchii: Etmopteridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56(3): 905-917

White, W. 2008. Shark Families Heterodontidae to Pristiophoridae. pp. 32-100 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. [89]


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Apr-2012 16-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)