Pristiophorus nancyae

Ebert & Cailliet, 2011

African dwarf sawshark
Classification: Elasmobranchii Pristiophoriformes Pristiophoridae

Reference of the original description
Ebert, D.A. & Cailliet, G.M. (2011)
Pristiophorus nancyae, a new species of Sawshark (Chondrichthyes: Pristiophoridae) from Southern Africa. Bulletin of Marine Science, 87(3), 501–512

Image of the original description
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Pristiophorus nancyae
Holotype: SAM: 34013; Paratype: SAM: 33477; SAM: 33502; SAM: 33511;

Description :

Citation: Pristiophorus nancyae Ebert & Cailliet, 2011: In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 04/2024

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African Dwarf Sawshark, Pristiophorus nancyae, Ebert & Cailliet, 2011 © Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML)
Common names
African dwarf sawshark

Short Description
Vertebrae: 132 - 139. This species is distinguished from its congeners by having the following characteristics: very distinctive double row of 4-5 conspicuous large pits anterior to the nasal barbels on the underside of its snout; a broad, triangular first dorsal fin with a rear tip that extends behind the pelvic midbases; barbels much closer to mouth than snout tip; 2 rows of enlarged pits on the underside of the pre-barbel rostrum; ridges on the base of its large lateral rostral teeth, mostly tricuspidate, flat, imbricated lateral trunk denticles; and having a plain color pattern. It differs from the sympatric occurring six-gilled sawshark, Pliotrema warreni, most notably by having 5 paired gill openings as opposed to 6 (Ref. 87357). This species is poorly known, occurring at the upper continental slope in tropical waters, at depths of 286–500 m. Stomach contents of 8 individuals include an unidentified organic material, partially digested shrimplike crustaceans, and a small decapod shrimp; no fish or cephalopod remains were apparent in the samples. Larger individuals had small puncture marks and elongated parallel cuts on their backs and tails suggestive of combat injuries from the rostra of other sawsharks. Unknown litter size. Caught and discarded as bycatch by offshore shrimp trawlers and other deepwater fisheries operations off Mozambique (Ref. 87357).

Western Indian Ocean: Mozambique. Records from off Somalia and the Arabian Sea off Pakistan apparently different (possibly undescribed species).


Size / Weight / Age
Max length : 62.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 87357)

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; depth range 286 - 500 m (Ref. 87357)

shark-references Species-ID=11086;