Pristis Pectinata



Onshore, Nearshore, Backcountry

600 - 770 pounds

15" - 25"

Smalltooth Sawfish

Also Known As: Common Sawfish, Sawfish  

Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) Fish Description

The Smalltooth sawfish is the only other sawfish in the Atlantic, next to the Largetooth sawfish. It has a brown-grey, grey, blue-grey or black color on the upper parts of its body, and a white underside.

In contrast to the Largetooth sawfish, the Smalltooth sawfish has a leading edge on both the dorsal and pelvic fins roughly placed above one another. It also has quite short pectoral fins and little to no distinct lower lobe to its tail.

They have a narrow saw, or rostrum, with 20-32 teeth on each side.

You can distinguish the Smalltooth sawfish from similar sawfish, such as the dwarf and green sawfish, by their distribution as both could only be found in the Indo-Pacific and their dorsal fins leading edge is located slightly or especially behind the leading edge of their pelvic fins.


Diet and Size

Smalltooth sawfish consume a variety of prey, such as fish and invertebrates like shrimp and crabs.

They use their rostra primarily by seining them from side to side to impale and stun their prey. Their rostra, which contains electro-sensitive organs in it, since the weak amount of electricity coming from other animals that help sawfish locate shrimp or crabs on the seafloor.

The Smalltooth sawfish can grow up to the total length of 18.2ft and weigh up to 770 lbs.


Interesting Facts about Smalltooth Sawfish

  • The Smalltooth Sawfish’s teeth can continue to grow throughout their lifespan.
  • A Smalltooth Sawfish's body is made entirely of cartilage.
  • The “teeth” seen on a Smalltooth Sawfish's snout is not real. They're more like soft spines.
  • There are only 5000 Smalltooth Sawfish left in the world.
  • Smalltooth Sawfishes can sometimes be confused with Sawsharks
    • Check where the gills are. The gills of a Smalltooth Sawfish are under them whereas the one