Sawfishes: Smalltooth Sawfish

Pristis pectinata

Pristis pectinata


The prominent toothed snout makes this ray easy to identify. Usually 24-28 unpaired teeth on each side of the 'saw' (hence the name 'sawfish').

Found most commonly in shallow coastal waters but reported as deep as 400 feet; juveniles prefer shallow coastal waters including estuaries and adults are most often found in deeper water.

Thought to feed on fishes and benthic crustaceans.

Aplacental viviparity. Up to 20 pups per litter.

Maximum length up to 18 feet.

Human Factors
Protected by the State of Florida and the US federal government under the Endangered Species Act. Non-aggressive species. Sometimes caught on hook and line by fishers that target sharks, tarpon, snook, and redfish. Should be handled with care and released unharmed.

For more information about this species, visit our Sawfish Web section

FWC Facts:
If you see a sawfish, please report your sighting to and help the FWC’s research efforts.

Learn More at AskFWC