Pristis microdon   Latham,  1794 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Chondrichthyes

Image copyrights: Aquarium of the Pacific

Size: 700 cm - 750 cm TL

Max. published weight: 600.0 kg

Color: Greenish, grey or golden-brown above, cream below.

A heavily-bodied sawfish with a short but massive saw which is broad-based, strongly tapering and with 14-22 very large teeth on each side; space between last 2 saw-teeth on sides less than 2 times space between first 2 teeth. Pectoral fins high and angular, 1st dorsal fin mostly in front of pelvic fins, and caudal fin with pronounced lower lobe. The saw is used for grubbing and attacking prey as well as for defense.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Ovoviviparous, embryos feed solely on yolk. Gestation period about 5 months; litter size 1- 13. Probably breeds in freshwater.

Max. reported age: 30 years

Synonym (s)
Pristis antiquorum Blyth, 1860
Pristis microdon Bleeker, 1852
Pristis microdon Fowler, 1941
Pristis microdon Herre, 1953
Pristis microdon Misra, 1949
Pristis microdon Misra, 1952
Pristis microdon Misra & Menon, 1958
Pristis microdon Munro, 1955
Pristis microdon Smith, 1953
Pristis perotteti Day, 1878
Pristiopsis leichhardti Whitley, 1945
(Ambiguous synonym)
Pristis antiquorum (non Latham, 1794)
(Misapplied name)
Pristis microdon Latham, 1794
(Senior synonym)
Pristis perotteti (non Muller & Henle, 1841)
(Misapplied name)
Pristis pristis (non Linneaus, 1758)
(Misapplied name)
Pristis zephyreus Jordan & Starks, 1895
(Ambiguous synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Small toothed Sawfish (English)
• Small Tothed Saw Fish (English)
• Kumben Sorah (Malayalam)
• Khandere (Marathi)
• Shinshi (Marathi)
• Valameen (Tamil)
• Kundah (Oriya)
• Wide Snouted Saw Fish (English)
• Makarasravu (Malayalam)
• Nali (Marathi)
• Small-toothed Saw Fish
• Vezha
• Churia (Gujarati)
• Khanderee (Marathi)
• Win (Marathi)
• Komban Sravu (Malayalam)
• Velasorrah (Tamil)
• Valsorrah (Tamil)
• Chinnarampamu Sorrah (Telugu)
• Small Toothed Saw Fish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish. Utilized for its fins and meat (both of very high value), and skin and cartilage. The saws sell as tourist souvenirs.
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The principal threat is fisheries, both targeted and bycatch, commercial and subsistence. Their morphology, particularly the long tooth-studded saw, makes them extraordinarily vulnerable to entanglement in any sort of net gear, including primitive fishing technology, and regardless of population size (which was probably always fairly small). When sawfish are taken in bycatch, they are often retained (particularly in areas where there is no legal protection) because of the very high value of their products (meat is high quality and fins and rostral saws extremely valuable in international trade). They are also targeted opportunistically for the same reasons.)

Habitat:  Demersal, Estuarine, Sandy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic crustaceans, mollusks, finfish, bony fish
IUCN Status:  Critically Endangered


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• West Bengal, Kiagoria INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Ghole (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Gujarat, Off Kandla INDIA (Record: 1986-1987)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• East Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Venkateswarlu, T and Rama Rao, KV (1986) Valid scientific names to Day's fish fauna of India Miscellaneous publication, occasional paper no 87 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI p 48 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Chatterjee, TK; Talukdar, RS and Mukherjee, AK (2000) Fish and fisheries of Digha coast of West Bengal Occasional paper no 188 Records of the Zoological Survey of India 31778 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Goswami, BCB (1992) Marine fauna of Digha coast of West Bengal, India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 34 115-137 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Hanfee, F (1999) Management of shark fisheries in two Indian coastal states: Tamil Nadu and Kerala Case studies of the management of elasmobranch fisheries. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 378 Rome, FAO Part 1 (11) Available at -
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Manna, B and Goswami, BCB (1985) A check-list of marine and estuarine fishes of Digha, West Bengal, India Mahasagar- Bulletin of the National Institute of Oceanography NIO, Goa 18(4) 489-499 Available at -
  • 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. 95 253pp Available at -
  • Nair, VR; Govindan, K; Ramaiah, N and Gajbhiye, SN (1993) Fishery potential of the Gulf of Kachchh Journal of the Indian Fisheries Association Indian Fisheries Association 23 91-103 Available at -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Dholakia, AD (2004) Marine resources Fisheries and aquatic resources of India Daya publishing house 271-303 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Elasmobranch Fishes Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Coastal Fishery Resources in Countries Bordering Indian Ocean Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-17

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