Pristis pectinata

Latham, 1794

Smalltooth sawfish
Classification: Elasmobranchii Rhinopristiformes Pristidae

Reference of the original description
Latham, J. (1794)
An essay on the various species of Sawfish. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, 2, 273–282

Image of the original description

Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Pristis acutirostris, Pristis annandalei, Pristis cf. pectinata, Pristis cf. pectinatus, Pristis granulosa, Pristis leptodon, Pristis megalodon, Pristis occa, Pristis pectinatus, Pristis serra, Pristis woermanni, Pristis (Pristis) pectinatus, Pristobatus occa, Squalus pectinatus

Pristis pectinata
XXXX: No types known;
Pristis acutirostris
Holotype: MNHN: A-9476;
Pristis granulosa
XXXX: No types known;
Pristis leptodon
Syntype: MNHN: 3485; MNHN: 3486;
Pristis megalodon
Holotype: MNHN: 3484;
Pristis serra
XXXX: No types known;
Pristis woermanni
Holotype: ZMH: 6278;

Description :

Citation: Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794: In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 02/2024

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Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794, © Javier Yaya Tur (CAC, S. A.)
Common names
deu \(T\) Kammsägefisch, deu \(T\) Kleinzahn-Sägerochen, deu \(T\) Sägefisch, spa Espadachin, spa Espadon, spa Pejepeine, spa Pejepiene, spa Pejes sierra, spa Pez espada, spa Pez peine, spa Pez rastrillo, spa Pez sierra, spa Pez sierra común, spa Pez sierra peine, spa Sierra, fra \(T\) Poisson scie, fra \(T\) Poisson-scie, fra \(T\) Poisson-scie tident, fra \(T\) Requin-scie, eng Comb shark, eng Common sawfish, eng Largetooth sawfish, eng Saw-fish, eng Sawfish, eng Small-tooth common sawfish, eng Smalltooth Sawfish, eng Smalltooth sawfish, eng Smooth-tooth sawfish, eng Wide sawfish, ita Pesce sega, ita Pesce sega denti piccoli, por Araguaguai, por Araguaguá, por Cação serra, por Espadarte-serra, por Peixe-serra, por Tubarão-serra, por Tubarão-serra candú

Short Description
Pristis pectinata is easily separable from Pristis perotteti by the following characters: its first dorsal fin originates about over the origin of its pelvic fins vs. considerably in front of origin of pelvic fins in P. perotteti; its caudal fin is much shorter, but broader relative to the length of the fin, with lower lobe only faintly indicated; its rostral teeth are numerous, 23 or more on each side vs. not more than 20 in P. perotteti; its saw is relatively somewhat shorter; its second dorsal fin has the posterior margin much less deeply concave; and its pectoral fins are smaller [199] (Ref. 81624). Pristis pectinata agrees with Pristis pristis in the shape of its caudal fin and in the position of the first dorsal fin relative to the pelvic fins, but it can be separated from P. pristis by its more numerous rostral teeth, 23 or more on each side vs. less than 20 [199] (Ref. 81624).

Circumglobal. Western Atlantic: North Carolina (USA), Bermuda and northern Gulf of Mexico [17658] to Argentina [5839]. Caribbean, rare in Bermuda [17659]. Eastern Atlantic: Gibraltar to Namibia; possibly in the Mediterranean Sea [541]. Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Philippines [541]. Possibly occurring in the eastern Pacific [541]. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; price category: medium; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family

Ovoviviparous, with gravid females containing about 15-20 embryos [7182]. Embryos feed solely on yolk [733]. Gives birth in shallow bays and estuaries [1658]. Size at birth 61 cm [1658].

Size / Weight / Age
TL (max): 554 cm, reports to 760 cm TL are likely exaggerations, TL (born): ~60 cm, TL (mature): male: unclear, record of TL 371 cm was mature; female: unclear, record of TL 415 cm was mature [24867]; max. published weight: 350.0 kg [7176]

demersal; amphidromous [17660]; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 88 m [24867]

shark-references Species-ID=5076; CITES: (see: Protected Species for more details) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speciesof Wild Fauna and Flora annex: I; Council Regulation 2017/160 annex: A

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Dermophthirioides pristidis Cheung & Nigrelli, 1983 [7260]
  • Mycteronastes caalusi Kritsky, Bullard, Bakenhaster, Scharer & Poulakis, 2017 [25877]
  • Neoheterocotyle inpristis (Hargis, 1955) [7260] [17439]

  • Achorovermis testisinuosus Warren & Bullard, 2020 [28589]

  • Nerocila acuminata Schioedte & Meinert, 1883 [23898]