Anoxypristis cuspidata

Scientific Name:-
Anoxypristis cuspidata

Common Name:-
Pointed / Knifetooth / Narrow Sawfish

Malayalam Name:-
Munayan Komban Sravu


Listed as Endangered in IUCN Redlist of species and included in Appendix I of CITES. Included in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.


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. Relatively small and triangular pectoral fins. Lower lobe of caudal fin easily identifiable. Origin of first dorsal fin posterior to that of the pelvic fin. Lacks an anal fin. Adults with widely spaced denticles, young with naked skin. Greyish above, pale below; fins usually pale.


Fishing and habitat destruction


Found inshore, often in river deltas and estuaries. No robust estimates of historic or current population size exist. However, distribution has been greatly reduced and that the population numbers have declined dramatically in the recent past.


Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; amphidromous; up to 40 m depth


Pristis cuspidatus Latham, 1794


Akhilesh K.V., K. K. Bineesh, A. Gopalakrishnan, J. K. Jena, V. S. Basheer and N. G. K. Pillai (2014). Checklist of Chondrichthyans in Indian waters. Mar. Biol. Ass. India, 56 (1), 109-120.
Compagno, L.J.V. and P.R. Last, 1999. Pristidae. Sawfishes. p. 1410-1417. In K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) FAO identification guide for fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome.
D'Anastasi, B., Simpfendorfer, C. & van Herwerden, L. 2013. Anoxypristis cuspidata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T39389A18620409. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T39389A18620409.en . Downloaded on 21 September 2015
Raje, SG; Sivakami, S; Mohanraj, G; Manoj Kumar, PP; Raju, A and Joshi, KK (2007) An atlas on the Elasmobranch fishery resources of India CMFRI Special publication CMFRI, Cochin, India.
Venkataraman, K., John Milton, M.C. and Raghuram, K.P. 2003. Handbook on Sharks of Indian Waters: Diversity, Fishery status, Trade and Conservation. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata.
Image courtesy: Jason Stapley

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