Sphyrna lewini

Author: (Griffith and Smith, I834)

Sphyrna lewini (Griffith and Smith, I834)

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Sphyrna lewini (Griffith and Smith, 1834) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: head with anterior contour moderately convex. scalloped in the midline and opposite each nostril. head widely expanded laterally (hammer), corners of mouth anterior to outer posterior corners of head; eyes large, far from nostrils, being separated by a distance only slightly less than horizontal eye diameter; centre of eyes opposite or posterior to front of mouth; prenarial grooves developed; teeth triangular, smoothedged or rarely slightly serrated in old specimens; fifth gill opening shorter than other four and behind origin of nectorals. Posterior lobe of first dorsal fin anterior to origin of pelvic fins: free posterior tip of second dorsal considerably longer than its anterior margin, extending nearly to pre-caudal pit; pelvic fins low and not falcate. Colour: light grey to greyish-brown or olivaceous above, shading to white below; pectoral fin tip black ventrally: Size: to about 4.2 m., usually to 3.6 m.

Habitat: coastal, epipelagic and semi-oceanic in tropic and warm areas over continental and insular shelves between the coast (bays and estuaries) and about 250 m depth, mainly at 10-25 m. Food: pelagic fishes, smaller sharks and rays, crabs, squids. Reproduction: viviparous.

Distribution: warm temperate and tropical Atlantic coasts, also Mediterranean. Elsewhere, circumglobal in tropical and warm temperate waters (western Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans).

Complementary iconography. Herald, 1961, right fig. on p. 30.
Larvae and young stages. Bigelow and Schroeder, 1948: 418.