Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes
(Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae
Etymology: Rhizoprionodon: Greek, rhiza = root + Greek, prion = saw + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 10 - 280 m (Ref. 26938), usually ? - 10 m (Ref. 55195). Subtropical; 43°N - 25°S, 100°W - 32°W (Ref. 55195)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 85 - 90 cm
Max length : 110 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 37512); 110.0 cm TL (female); common length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 37512); max. published weight: 7.3 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 10 years (Ref. 6140)
Small, generally gray, streamlined shark, with long pointed snout. Posterior margin of anal fin straight or slightly concave. Second dorsal fin origin well behind anal fin origin (Ref. 26938).
Western Atlantic: New Brunswick, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Southwest Atlantic: coasts of Brazil.
Reaches at least 103 cm TL (Ref. 244). Abundant in the continental shelves, from the intertidal to deeper waters. Often occurs close to the surf zone off sandy beaches, and also enclosed bays, sounds, and harbors, in estuaries and river mouths. Feeds on small bony fishes, shrimps, crabs, segmented worms and mollusks (gastropod feet). Viviparous, with 1 to 7 young in a litter. Size at birth about 29 to 37 cm. Utilized for human consumption.
Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205). Viviparous, placental (Ref. 50449). 1 to 7 young per litter. Larger females carry more young. Size at birth 29-37 cm. Gestation period is 10 to 11 months in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Sex ratio of near term fetuses is 1:1 (Ref. 244).
Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 244)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00525 (0.00295 - 0.00935), b=3.01 (2.86 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for species & (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.4 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (K=0.19-0.45(?); tmax=10; tm=4; Fec 1-7).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (46 of 100) .