Common names from other countries
Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rhinopristiformes
(Shovelnose rays) > Pristidae
Etymology: Anoxypristis: Greek, ana = up + Greek, oxy = sharp, pointed + Greek, pristis = saw (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 40 m (Ref. 9859), usually ? - 40 m (Ref. 55270). Tropical; 43°N - 20°S, 30°E - 160°E (Ref. 114953)
Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and the Persian Gulf to New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south to northern Australia (Ref. 9859). Formerly common in the Western Central Pacific, apparently declining in some areas (Ref. 47737).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 264.0, range 246 - 282 cm
Max length : 470 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9859)
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.
Found inshore, often in river deltas and estuaries; penetration well up rivers needs confirmation (Ref. 9859). Common in sheltered bays with sandy bottoms. More active swimmer than other sawfishes (Ref. 114953). Feeds on small fish, cuttlefish (Ref. 9859) and small benthic invertebrates such as prawns (Ref. 114953). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Most fecund sawfish, reported to reach sexual maturity at 2-3 years (Ref. 114953). Females have litters of approximately 12 pups (Ref. 114953). Generally harmless but its saw-like snout may cause serious injury when caught: it is known thrash violently and vigorously (Ref. 9859). Caught for its flesh and liver (which is rich in oil) in some parts of Asia (Ref. 6871). Maximum lengths of up to 610 cm TL are based on unconfirmed reports (Ref. 9859).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Ovoviviparous. Litter size from 6 to 23, young born in the spring (Ref. 9859).
Mould, B., 1994. A world list of rays. The scientific nomenclature and distribution of the recent Batoidea (Batoidea, Elasmobranchii, Chondrichthyes). University of Nottingham, [UK]. 82 p. (Ref. 8630)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.6 - 29.1, mean 28.2 (based on 1982 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 1.0078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00501 (0.00198 - 0.01270), b=3.05 (2.83 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.62 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (90 of 100).