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Sawfishes: Smalltooth Sawfish

Pristis pectinata


The prominent rostral teeth make this ray easy to identify. Usually 22-29 unpaired teeth on each side of the rostrum or 'saw' (hence the name 'sawfish').

Habitat and Behavior
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.

Feeds primarily on benthic invertebrates and small fishes.

Aplacental viviparity. Up to 20 young per brood.

Maximum total length up to 18 feet.

Human Factors
Protected by the State of Florida and the U.S. 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