Brazilian sharpnose shark

Small warm-water shark in the West Atlantic

The Brazilian Sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon lalandi) is a requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae. It is found in the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean. It is a smaller shark, and the only one in its range with long upper and lower labial furrows.


Family: Carcharhinidae – Requiem sharks

Genus: Rhizoprionodon 

Species: lalandi


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Carcharhinidae

Common NameRequiem Sharks




Average Size and Length: The Brazilian Sharpnose shark is born 1 to 1.1 feet. Mature males are anywhere between 1.4 and 1.6 feet and females around 1.7 feet. The maximum recorded length is 2.5 feet.

Head: It has a long snout with small, wide-spaced nostrils. Its eyes are large.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: It can be found in the West Atlantic from Panama to southern Brazil. It prefers tropical waters of the littoral continental shelf 9 feet to 230 feet. It prefers sandy bottoms, or even mud. But not in lagoons or estuaries.

It has been seen in these countries: Aruba, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

Diet: They eat small, bony fishes, shrimp and squid.

Aesthetic Identification: The Brazilian Sharpnose shark is the only shark in its range with long upper and lower labial furrows. It has small second dorsal fin with the origin far behind the anal origin. It has long anal ridges. The apex of the pectoral fin when it is laid back against the body falls in front of the first dorsal midbase. It is dark grey to grey-brown above, and light underneath. There are light margins to the pictorials and the dorsal fins are dusky in color.

Biology and Reproduction: Brazilian Sharpnose sharks are viviparous. They have 1 to 4 pups. Mating season is Summer.

Brazilian Sharpnose Shark Future and Conservation: It is considered Vulnerable in Brazil due to intensive fishing although it may actually classify at a higher level. The flesh is eaten for food but the fins are not used as they are too small. Other threats include water pollution from plastic litter and three specimens have been found with plastic collars on their head or gills.

Brazilian Sharpnose Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat.