Anoxypristis cuspidata (Latham, 1794)
Pointed sawfish
Anoxypristis cuspidata
photo by CSIRO

Family:  Pristidae (Sawfishes)
Max. size:  470 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; depth range 0 - 40 m, amphidromous
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and the Persian Gulf to New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south to northern Australia (Ref. 9859). Formerly common in the Western Central Pacific, apparently declining in some areas (Ref. 47737).
Diagnosis:  Greyish above, pale below; fins usually pale. Body shark-like, pectoral fins distinct; head flattened, with a blade-like snout bearing 18-22 pairs of lateral teeth; blade slender, not tapering distally. Nostrils very narrow with small nasal flaps. Rostral teeth short, flattened, broadly triangular, lacking a groove along posterior margins; no teeth on basal quarter of blade. Adults with widely spaced denticles, young with naked skin.
Biology:  Found inshore, often in river deltas and estuaries; penetration well up rivers needs confirmation (Ref. 9859). Common in sheltered bays with sandy bottoms. Feeds on small fish and cuttlefish (Ref. 9859). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Generally harmless but its saw-like snout may cause serious injury when caught: it is known thrash violently and vigorously (Ref. 9859). Caught for its flesh and liver (which is rich in oil) in some parts of Asia (Ref. 6871). Maximum lengths of up to 610 cm TL are based on unconfirmed reports (Ref. 9859).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered(A2cd) (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Also Ref. 4735, 9859.

Entered by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 13.08.93
Modified by: Sampang-Reyes, Arlene G. - 31.03.10
Checked by: Compagno, Leonard J.V. - 12.10.95

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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