Pristis pristis

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Common sawfish
Classification: Elasmobranchii Rhinopristiformes Pristidae

Reference of the original description
Linné, C. (1758)
Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, regnum animale, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus differentiis synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Stockholm, Laurentii Salvii, 824pp.

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Pristiopsis leichhardti, Pristis aff. perotteti, Pristis antiquorum, Pristis canaliculata, Pristis caniculata, Pristis microdon, Pristis peroteti, Pristis perotteti, Pristis perottetii, Pristis perroteti, Pristis perrotteti, Pristis typica, Pristis zephyreus, Squalus pristis

Pristis pristis
XXXX: No types known;
Pristis antiquorum
XXXX: No types known;
Pristis canaliculata
XXXX: No types known;
Pristis microdon
Holotype: Museum Parkinson: whereabouts unknown;
Pristis perotteti
Holotype: MNHN: lost
Pristis typica
XXXX: No types known;
Pristis zephyreus
Holotype: SU: 12670

Description :

Citation: Pristis pristis (Linnaeus, 1758): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 02/2024

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Pristis pristis (Linnaeus, 1758), © David Morgan, Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit, School of Veterinary & Life Sciences, Murdoch, Australia
Common names
deu \(T\) Sägefisch, spa Pejepeine, spa Pejesierra, spa Pez sierra, spa Pez sierra commún, spa Pez sierra común, spa Sägefisch, fra \(T\) Poisson-scie commun, fra \(T\) Scie, fra \(T\) Scie commune, eng Common sawfish, eng Largetooth sawfish, eng Sawfish, eng Small-toothed sawfish, ita Pesce sega, por Araguaguá, por Espadarte, por Espadarte-serra, por Peixe-serra, por Tubarão-serra, Sija (malta)

Short Description
A sawfish with robust rostrum, noticeably diverging posteriorly (rostrum width between two posteriormost rostral teeth 1.7–2 times the width between the second anteriormost rostral teeth). The number of rostral teeth per side ranges from 14 to 23. Rostral teeth with groove on the posterior margin. First dorsal-fin origin well anterior to pelvic-fin origins. Lower lobe of the caudal fin well defined (lower anterior margin about half as long as the upper anterior margin). [17620]

Eastern Pacific: Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. Western Atlantic: USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Caribbean Sea, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Mediterranean, Senegal, Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola. Indo-West Pacific: South Africa, Zambia (Zambezi River), Mozambique (Zambezi River), Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Pakistan, Gulf of Aden, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Borneo, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Found in coastal, estuarine, and riverine habitats. [17620]
Bangladesh (see image of G. M. MASUM BILLAH, Program Coordinator- Marine Mega-Fauna & Fisheries, Wildlife Conservation Society- Bangladesh Program ( Source:

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

Ovoviviparous, embryos feed solely on yolk [733]. Inhabits inshore coastal waters to moderate depth, also around offlying islands. Found also in estuaries, lagoons, river mouths, and even freshwater. Feeds on fishes and bottom-living animals. Ovoviviparous. Freshwater populations occur to about 750 km up Amazon River; populations in Lake Nicaragua may be nonmigratory [17658]

Size / Weight / Age
TL (max): 656 cm, but possible over 700 cm, TL (mature): ~280 cm - 300 cm; TL (born): 72 cm - 90 cm [24867]; max. reported age: 30 years [17661]

demersal; oceanodromous [17660]; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 25 m [24867]

shark-references Species-ID=5083; 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; Faria et al. (2013) [17620] recently synonymized the species Pristis microdon (Latham, 1794) with P. pristis.

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Dermopristis paradoxus Kearn, Whittington & Evans-Gowing, 2010 [15240]
  • Erpocotyle caribbensis Watson & Thorson, 1976 [16440]
  • Nonacotyle pristis Ogawa, 1991 [7239]
  • Pristonchocotyle intermedia Watson & Thorson, 1976 [16440]
  • Pristonchocotyle papuensis Ogawa, 1991 [7239]

  • Euterranova pristis (Baylis & Daubney, 1922) [17029]
  • Terranova circularis (Linstow , 1907) [17029]

  • Caligus furcisetifer Redkar, Rangnekar & Murti, 1949 [16612]
  • Ergasilus sp. [7239]