Pristis microdon, Largetooth sawfish : fisheries, gamefish

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Pristis microdon Latham, 1794

Largetooth sawfish
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Pristis microdon   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Pristis microdon (Largetooth sawfish)
Pristis microdon
Picture by CSIRO

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rhinopristiformes (Shovelnose rays) > Pristidae (Sawfishes)
Etymology: Pristis: Greek, pristis = saw (Ref. 45335).

Synonym of Pristis pristis (Linnaeus, 1758) according to Faria et al., 2012 (Ref. 93006:11) and Weigmann, 2016 (Ref. 106604); status confirmed by William White (pers. Comm., Feb 2016).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 10 m (Ref. 27000). Tropical; 22°N - 39°S, 20°E - 154°E

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

Indo-West Pacific: East Africa to New Guinea, north to the Philippines and Viet Nam, south to Australia. Also Atlantic and eastern Pacific if Pristis perotteti and Pristis zephyreus are synonymized with this species. The original description of Pristis microdon did not give a locality, but most authors have used the name Pristis microdon for the Indo-West Pacific sawfishes of this species group as contrasted from the Atlantic Pristis perotteti and the eastern Pacific Pristis zephyreus.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 270.0, range 240 - 300 cm
Max length : 700 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 58048); common length : 500 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683); max. published weight: 600.0 kg (Ref. 3164); max. reported age: 30 years (Ref. 9859)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A heavily-bodied sawfish with a short but massive saw which is broad-based, strongly tapering and with 14-22 very large teeth on each side; space between last 2 saw-teeth on sides less than 2 times space between first 2 teeth (Ref. 5578). Pectoral fins high and angular, 1st dorsal fin mostly in front of pelvic fins, and caudal fin with pronounced lower lobe (Ref. 5578). Greenish, grey or golden-brown above, cream below (Ref. 5578).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits sandy or muddy bottoms of shallow coastal waters, estuaries, river mouths, and freshwater rivers and lakes. Usually found in turbid channels of large rivers over soft mud bottoms (Ref. 2847, 44894). Adults usually found in estuaries and young ascend into fresh water. Large adults can also be found in fresh water, but are rarely caught (Ref. 12693). Feeds on benthic animals and small schooling species. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). The saw is used for grubbing and attacking prey as well as for defense. The saws sell as tourist souvenirs (Ref. 7248). Occasionally caught by demersal tangle net and trawl fisheries in the Arafura Sea; possibly extinct in parts of the Indo-Pacific; highly susceptible to gill nets. Utilized for its fins and meat (both of very high value), and skin and cartilage (Ref.58048).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Ovoviviparous, embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Gestation period about 5 months (Ref. 9859); litter size 1- 13 (Ref. 5578). Probably breeds in freshwater (Ref.58048).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : McEachran, John | Collaborators

Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994. Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)


CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)

Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
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Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201): 24.6 - 29.2, mean 28.5 °C (based on 2653 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5234   [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):  3.9   ±0.61 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=10; tmax=30; Fec=1).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (90 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.
Nutrients (Ref. 124155):  Calcium = 13.9 [3.0, 64.7] mg/100g; Iron = 0.512 [0.120, 1.459] mg/100g; Protein = 19.4 [17.2, 21.6] %; Omega3 = 0.0888 [, ] g/100g; Selenium = 53.2 [15.0, 189.9] μg/100g; VitaminA = 4.43 [1.44, 13.30] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.681 [0.321, 1.284] mg/100g (wet weight);