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Sphyrna lewini  (Griffith & Smith, 1834)

Scalloped hammerhead
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Sphyrna lewini   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Sphyrna lewini (Scalloped hammerhead)
Sphyrna lewini
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Sphyrnidae (Hammerhead, bonnethead, or scoophead sharks)
Etymology: Sphyrna: Greek, sphyra = hammer (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 512 m, usually 0 - 25 m (Ref. 26999).   Tropical; 46°N - 36°S, 180°W - 180°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 210.0, range 200 - 230 cm
Max length : 430 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26938); common length : 360 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 13562); max. published weight: 152.4 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 35 years (Ref. 31395)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A large hammerhead with a notch at the center of head; 1st dorsal fin moderately high, 2nd dorsal and pelvic fins low (Ref. 5578). Front margin of head broadly arched with prominent median notch. Side wings of head narrow, rear margins swept backward (Ref. 26938). Uniform grey, grayish brown, or olivaceous above, shading to white below; pectoral fins tipped with grey or black ventrally (Ref. 13562).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions | Faunafri

Circumglobal in coastal warm temperate and tropical seas (Ref. 13562). Western Atlantic: New Jersey, USA to Uruguay (Ref. 58839), including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Eastern Atlantic: western Mediterranean (Ref. 6678) to Namibia (Ref. 6812). Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, East Africa and throughout the Indian Ocean; Japan to New Caledonia, Hawaii and Tahiti. Eastern Pacific: southern California, USA to Ecuador, probably Peru.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A coastal-pelagic, semi-oceanic shark occurring over continental and insular shelves and adjacent deep water, often approaching close inshore and entering enclosed bays and estuaries (Ref. 244, 11230, 58302). Found in inshore and offshore waters to about 275 m depth (Ref. 26938, 11230, 58302); has been filmed at a baited camera in 512 m depth (Lis Maclaren, pers. comm. 2005). Huge schools of small migrating individuals move pole ward in the summer in certain areas (Ref. 244). Permanent resident populations also exist (Ref. 244). Juveniles occur in coastal areas (Ref. 58784). Adults solitary, in pairs, or schools; young in large schools (Ref. 13562). Feed mainly on teleost fishes and cephalopods (Ref. 6871), also lobsters, shrimps, crabs (Ref. 30573), including other sharks and rays (Ref. 37816). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Mature females produce 15-31, of 43-55 cm young in a litter (Ref. 26938, 1602). Considered potentially dangerous to people but often not aggressive when approached by divers (Ref. 13562). Readily available to inshore artisanal and small commercial fisheries as well as to offshore operations (Ref. 13562). Sold fresh, dried-salted, smoked and frozen; also sought for its fins and hides (Ref. 9987). Oil used for vitamins and carcasses for fishmeal (Ref. 13562).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

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.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Endangered (EN) (A2bd+4bd)

Threat to humans

Other (Ref. 13562)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5029   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00355 (0.00257 - 0.00490), b=3.16 (3.07 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.1   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (rm=0.028; K=0.1; tm=4-15; tmax=35; Fec=13-23).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (81 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.