First sawshark in the western hemisphere found in Bahamas and Cuba.

The Bahamas sawshark, (Pristiophorus schroederi), is a Sawshark of the family Pristiophoridae, found in the western Central Atlantic Ocean from the Bahamas, Florida and Cuba at depths of between 1,312 and 3,281 feet. These sharks are at least 2.7 feet long.

Sharks in the sawshark family (Pristiophoridae) are similar to the sawfish family (Pristidae) in their saw-like snout but are smaller and have the basic structural design of sharks rather than rays. Distinguishing features of sawsharks include a slight compression of their body and strong flattening of their head.


Family: Pristiophoridae – Sawsharks

Genus: Pristiophorus 

Species: schroederi


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common Name– Sawsharks

Family– Pristiophoridae

Common Name– Sawsharks




Average Size and Length: The Bahamas sawshark is at least 2.7 feet long.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth itself is slightly arched. The upper jaw teeth are in 36 rows and the bottom jaw teeth are shaped similarly but in 32 rows. There are 23 large, lateral sawteeth. 13 sawteeth before he barbels, and 10 behind the barbels. They are slightly curved and alternate long (5-7 mm) and short (2-3 mm). Juveniles usually have 1 smaller tooth between the large lateral teeth.

Head: The head of the Bahamas sawshark is flattened. The rostrum is slender, long, narrow and tapering. The preoral length is between 31% and 32%. The nostrils are oval and surrounded by a narrow-raised rim. There is a pair of barbels located on either side of the snout halfway between the mouth and the rostral tip. There is a concave pre-barbel edge. The eyes are large in comparison to overall size, about two times the size horizontally compared to vertically.

Denticles: The Bahamas sawshark have 3-point dermal denticles. There are dermal denticles on the dorsal surface of the body with very little overlapping. The fins are fully scaled but the snout is only partially covered. The ventral scales are usually leaf like with no accessory points or ridges. has typical denticles of the dorsal surface that are usually slender and leaf like, they bear a very long slender point directed up and back with two accessory points on either side.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Bahamas sawshark is found in the western Central Atlantic Ocean from the Bahamas, Florida and Cuba at depths of between 1,312 and 3,281 feet. The Bahamas sawshark is found on continental and insular slopes on or near the bottom. It is the first sawshark found in the western hemisphere.

Diet: The Bahamas sawshark feeds on fish and crustaceans on the seafloor.

Aesthetic Identification: The Bahamas sawshark is uniform, un-patterned light grey above, and counter-shaded whitish below. It has darker brownish stripes along the rostrum midline and edges. The pectoral fins are light-edged, with a darker anterior edge to the dorsal fins in juveniles. The Bahamas sawshark has 5 gill slits that are about equal in length. The fifth gill slit crosses the insertion of the pectoral fin and extends about equal distance above and below it. It has no anal fin, but two dorsal fins approximately equal in size. The first dorsal fin originates about halfway from the tip of the snout to the tip of the caudal fin, the origin of the second dorsal fin is posterior to the tips of the pelvic fins. It has large pectoral fins, that’s inner margins curve inward toward the base of the fins.

Biology and Reproduction: The Bahamas sawshark is thought to be ovoviviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Bahamas sawshark is known to form schools.

Bahamas Sawshark Future and Conservation: More than likely caught by deepwater fisheries as bycatch.

Bahamas Sawshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.