Anoxypristis cuspidata

(Latham, 1794)

Knifetooth sawfish
Classification: Elasmobranchii Rhinopristiformes Pristidae

Reference of the original description
Latham, J. (1794)
An essay on the various species of Sawfish. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, 2: 273–282, 2 pl.

Image of the original description

Anoxypristis cuspidata (Latham, 1794)

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Anoxypristis cf. cuspidata, Anoxypristis cuspidatus, Oxypristis cuspidatus, Pristis cuspidata, Pristis cuspidatus, Pristis semisagittatus, Pristis (Anoxypristis) cuspidata, Squalus cuspidatus, Squalus semisagittatus

Anoxypristis cuspidata
Neotype: MNHN: 1250;

Description :

Citation: Anoxypristis cuspidata (Latham, 1794): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 08/2022

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Anoxypristis cuspidata (Latham, 1794), © FAO,
Common names
spa Pez espada, eng Knifetooth sawfish, eng Narrow sawfish, eng Pointed saw-fish, eng Pointed sawfish, eng Saw fish, eng Saw shark, eng Sawfish

Short Description
Greyish above, pale below; fins usually pale. Body shark-like, pectoral fins distinct; head flattened, with a blade-like snout bearing 18-22 pairs of lateral teeth; blade slender, not tapering distally. Nostrils very narrow with small nasal flaps. Rostral teeth short, flattened, broadly triangular, lacking a groove along posterior margins; no teeth on basal quarter of blade. Adults with widely spaced denticles, young with naked skin.

Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and the Persian Gulf to New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south to northern Australia [24867]. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes

Ovoviviparous. Litter size from 6 to 23, young born in the spring [541]. Inhabits coastal waters and estuaries; probably ascends rivers but its occurrence in freshwater needs to be verified [541]. Common in sheltered bays with sandy bottoms. Feeds on small fish and cuttlefish.

Size / Weight / Age
470 cm TL (male/unsexed; [541])

benthopelagic; amphidromous [17660]; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 40 m [541], usually ? - 40 m (Ref. 55270)

shark-references Species-ID=274; CITES: (see: Protected Species for more details) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speciesof Wild Fauna and Flora annex: I; Council Regulation 2017/160 annex: A

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Floriparicapitus variabilis (Southwell, 1911) [17129] [21566]
  • Fossobothrium perplexum Beveridge & Campbell, 2005 [7395] [15747] [17827]
  • Pedibothrium globicephalum Linton, 1909 [16410] [16101] [17089]
  • Pristiorhynchus palmi Schaeffner & Beveridge, 2013 [17827]
  • Proemotobothrium southwelli Beveridge & Campbell, 2001 [16112] [17827]
  • Pterobothrium acanthotruncatum Escalante & Carvajal, 1984 [16283] [16112]
  • Pterobothrium australiense Campbell & Beveridge, 1996 [16972] [15789]
  • Rhabdotobothrium anoxypristidis Coleman, G.M. & Beveridge, I. & Campbell, 2019 [27352]

  • Livoneca ovalis (Say, 1818) [23898]