Rhizoprionodon lalandii

Common Name

Brazilian Sharpnose Shark

Year Described

Müller and Henle, 1839


Anteroposterior tooth rows: 12/11-12 on each side; 25/23-24 total
Vertebrae: 79-90 precaudal, 152-168 total (precaudal centra greater than caudal centra)

A small shark with a slender body. Snout long and flattened, with a pointed tip. Eye large. Distance between nostrils 1.6-1.8 times in pre-oral distance. Nasal flaps triangular and low. Upper labial furrows long and well developed. A low interdorsal ridge is present. A long paired preanal ridge present. No keels on caudal peduncle. Gill slits short (1.9-2.3% TL). Teeth in upper jaw broad-based with low, very oblique cusps. Lower jaw teeth similar to upper. First dorsal fin fairly high (6.9-8.1% TL) with a straight anterior margin, a rounded tip, and inserted over or slightly behind free tip of pectoral fin. Second dorsal fin much smaller than first (1.6-1.9% TL) and inserted over posterior half or rear of anal fin base. Both dorsal fins with extended free posterior tips (second dorsal free tip over twice height of second dorsal). Anal fin similar in size to second dorsal fin. Pelvic fin inserted midway between anal and dorsal fin. Pectoral fin small and broad, with rounded tips.


Gray to brown above, grading to whitish below. Pectoral fins with narrow white margins. Caudal fin with narrow black posterior edging.


Mature adults from 45-55cm TL. Newborns from 33-34cm. Maximum size to around 77cm TL.


Shallow waters over soft bottoms from 40-70m. Not usually found in estuaries.


Continental Caribbean and Atlantic from Panama to southeastern Brazil.


Castro, J.I. 2011. The Sharks of North America. Oxford University Press, 640 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V. 2002. Sharks. In: Carpenter, K.E. (Editor) FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of The Western Central Atlantic. Volume 1: Introduction, mollusks, crustaceans, hagfishes, sharks, batoid fishes, and chimaeras. ASIH Special Publication No. 5. FAO, Rome.

Compagno, L., M. Dando, and S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press, 480 pp.