PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern Sawshark 

Pristiophorus nudipinnis Günther, 1870

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Additional information in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Long slender somewhat flattened sharks with a long blade-like snout edged with sharp ?teeth? and a pair of barbels on the underside and no anal fin.

Family level detail.
Sawsharks have easily identified by their long slender bodies, long flat blade-like snouts armed with sharp lateral ?teeth? of varying sizes and a pair of barbels on the underside. They have 5-6 pairs of gill slits on each side of the head, nostrils on the underside, two widely-separated dorsal fins and no anal fin. Family with two genera and about 9 species, all but one found in the Indo-Pacific. A single genus and three species found in Australian waters.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Order:
Pristiophoriformes
Family:
Pristiophoridae
Genus:
Pristiophorus
Species:
nudipinnis

General Description

Body long, slender; head flattened, with a relatively broad saw-like snout or rostrum and barbels inserted closer to mouth than to snout tip; nostrils oval, positioned halfway between barbels and corner of mouth; dorsal and pectoral fins entirely covered with denticles. Pale grey to greyish-brown above, pale below. To 1.3 m.

Biology

Sawsharks use their sensory barbels to find their prey, and injure or stun small fishes and invertebrates by vigorously moving their snouts from side to side. They are taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries. Although not considered dangerous, the rostral saw can inflict painful injuries.

Habitat

On soft bottoms, in depths of 5-110 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Sharks

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1.3 m

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Although not considered dangerous to humans, the rostral saw can inflict painful injuries.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Southern Sawshark, Pristiophorus nudipinnis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6578

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