Confirmation of Luminescence Ability for the velvet dogfish

Published on
02. February 2021

A Third Luminous Shark Family: Confirmation of Luminescence Ability for Zameus squamulosus (Squaliformes; Somniosidae)

Laurent Duchatelet, Raphaël Marion, Jérôme Mallefet


Since recently, shark’s bioluminescence has been recorded from two Squaliformes families, the Etmopteridae and Dalatiidae. Pictures of luminescence, light organ morphologies, and physiology of the luminous control have been described for species of the Etmopteridae and Dalatiidae families. In 2015, a third luminous family, Somniosidae was assumed to present a bioluminescent species, Zameus squamulosus. Up to now, confirmation of the luminous abilities of Z. squamulosus is lacking. Here, the luminescence of Z. squamulosus was in vivo recorded for the first time confirming the bioluminescence status of the third luminescent shark family. Additionally, photophore histology revealed the conservation of the light organ morphology across the luminous Squaliformes. Light transmittance analysis through the placoid scale added information on the luminescence efficiency and highlighted a new type of bioluminescent‐like squamation. All these data reinforced the likelihood that the common ancestor of Dalatiidae, Etmopteridae, and Somniosidae may already have been luminescent for counterillumination purpose.

Photochemistry and Photobiology, Early View, DOI: 10.1111/php.13393


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