Sawfishes: Smalltooth Sawfish

Pristis pectinata

SMALLTOOTH SAWFISH
Pristis pectinata

 

Identification
The prominent toothed snout makes this ray easy to identify. Usually 24-28 unpaired teeth on each side of the 'saw' (hence the name 'sawfish').

Habitat
Found most commonly in shallow coastal waters but reported as deep as 400 feet; juveniles prefer shallow coastal waters including estuaries and adults are most often found in deeper water.

Feeding
Thought to feed on fishes and benthic crustaceans.

Reproduction
Aplacental viviparity. Up to 20 pups per litter.

Size/Age
Maximum length up to 18 feet.

Human Factors
Protected by the State of Florida and the US federal government under the Endangered Species Act. Non-aggressive species. Sometimes caught on hook and line by fishers that target sharks, tarpon, snook, and redfish. Should be handled with care and released unharmed.

For more information about this species, visit our Sawfish Web section



FWC Facts:
Numerous marine species, like blue crabs, redfish, white shrimp, stingrays, tarpon, are found more than 100 miles upstream in the freshwater portions of the St. Johns River.

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