Rhizoprionodon porosus

Common Name

Caribbean Sharpnose Shark

Year Described

Poey, 1861


Anteroposterior tooth rows: 11-13/12 on each side; 24-27/24 total
Vertebrae: 66-75 precaudal, 136-159 total (precaudal equal or less than caudal centra)

A small shark with a slender body. Snout long and flattened, with a pointed tip. Eye large. Distance between nostrils 1.4-1.6 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 (2.0-2.5% TL). Teeth in upper jaw broad-based with low, very oblique cusps. Lower jaw teeth similar to upper. First dorsal fin fairly high (7.3-9.1% TL) with a straight anterior margin, a rounded tip, and inserted over free tip of pectoral fin. Second dorsal fin smaller than first (1.9-2.5% TL) and inserted over anterior half 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 and first dorsal fin with black posterior edge. No white spots on dorsum.


Mature adults from 60-75cm TL. Newborns from 31-39cm. Maximum size to 110cm TL.


Found in a wide variety of habitats from 1-500m, but mostly in shallow coastal waters. Commonly found in estuaries and ventures into areas of low salinity.


The Bahamas and Cuba to the Lesser Antilles. Also the continental coast from Honduras to Uruguay.


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.