Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Pristiformes
(Sawfishes) > Pristidae
Etymology: Pristis: Greek, pristis = saw (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range ? - 10 m (Ref. 4429). Subtropical; 16°C - 30°C; 44°N - 37°S, 180°W - 180°E
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 760 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6871); common length : 550 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6871); max. published weight: 350.0 kg (Ref. 3164)
soft rays: 0. Long, flat, blade-like rostrum with 24 to 32 pairs of teeth along edges; caudal fin large and oblique with no lower lobe (Ref. 26938). Dark mouse gray to blackish brown above, paler along margins of fins. White to grayish white or pale yellow below (Ref. 6902).
Circumglobal. Western Atlantic: North Carolina (USA), Bermuda and northern Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 7251) to Argentina (Ref. 58839). Caribbean, rare in Bermuda (Ref. 26938). Eastern Atlantic: Gibraltar to Namibia; possibly in the Mediterranean Sea (Ref. 9859). Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Philippines (Ref. 9859). Possibly occurring in the eastern Pacific (Ref. 9859).
Inshore and intertidal species, but may cross deep water to reach offshore islands; also ascends rivers and can tolerate fresh water (Ref. 9859). Commonly seen in bays, lagoons, estuaries, and river mouths. Also found in rivers and lakes (Ref. 12951). Feeds on fishes and shellfishes (Ref. 58784). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Uses its saw to stir the bottom when feeding on bottom invertebrates and to kill pelagic fishes (Ref. 9859). Utilized as a food fish; oil is used to make medicine, soap and in leather tanning (Ref. 6871). Adults stuffed for decoration (Ref. 6871). Reported to be aggressive towards sharks when kept in tanks (Ref. 12951).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Ovoviviparous, with gravid females containing about 15-20 embryos (Ref. 3163). Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Gives birth in shallow bays and estuaries (Ref. 12951). Size at birth 61 cm (Ref. 12951).
Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994. Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 6871)
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00407 (0.00162 - 0.01023), b=3.03 (2.81 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for species & (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.80 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec=15).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (86 of 100) .