Sawfishes: Smalltooth Sawfish

Pristis pectinata

Pristis pectinata


The prominent teeth make this ray easy to identify. Usually 22-29 unpaired teeth on each side of the rostrum or '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.

Feeds primarily on fishes.

Aplacental viviparity. Up to 20 young per brood.

Maximum length up to 18 feet.

Human Factors
Protected by the State of Florida and the U.S. 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:
Florida's American shad are the smallest on the East Coast of the United States. In Florida, shad average 2 to 3 pounds; the state record is 5.19 pounds.

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