Sphyrna zygaena   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Elasmobranchii

Image copyrights: Doug Perrine

Size: 500 cm TL (male/unsexed); Common length 275 cm- 335 cm; 50-60 cm (at birth)

Max. weight reported: 400.0 kg

Color: Olive-grey or dark grey above, white below. Fins nearly plain, dusky or blackish tipped.

Body rather long and slender; head depressed and produced to a lobe on each side; eyes situated at the lateral extremities of the expanded lobes. Length of hind edge of lateral expansion of the head slightly shorter than its width near the eye and has a groove along almost its entire anterior border. Mouth large, its length more than half its width. Teeth alike in jaws, oblique, outer edges almost straight, notched. Spiracles absent. Eyes with nictitating membrane. Inner narial groove extending more than half way to middle of snout. First dorsal high, inserted nearer to the tip of snout than to origin of second dorsal. Pectoral smaller than first dorsal.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Viviparous, placental, with 20 to 50 young per litter after a gestation period of 10-11 months. Size at birth between 50-60 cm TL.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Cestracion zygaena Sarangdhar, 1942
Sphyrna zygaena Briggs, 1958
Sphyrna zygaena Chu, 1931
Sphyrna zygaena Fowler, 1938
Sphyrna zygaena Fowler, 1941
Sphyrna zygaena Herre, 1953
Sphyrna zygaena Misra, 1952
Sphyrna zygaena Misra, 1949
Sphyrna zygaena Misra & Menon, 1958
Sphyrna zygaena Mori, 1952
Sphyrna zygaena Munro, 1955
Sphyrna zygaena Smith, 1953
Squalus malleus Risso, 1810
Squalus zygaena Linnaeus, 1758
Zygaena erythraea Hilgendorf, 1899
Zygaena indica van Hasselt, 1824
Zygaena malleus Day, 1878
Zygaena malleus Pillay, 1929
Zygaena malleus Sorley, 1933
Zygaena malleus Southwell, 1913
Zygaena zygaena Gunther, 1910
Sphyrna zigaena (Linnaeus, 1758)
Spyrna zygaena (Linnaeus, 1758)
Squalis pictus Blainville, 1816
Squalus carolinensis Blainville, 1816
Squalus malleus (Valenciennes, 1822)
Zygaena malleus Valenciennes, 1822)
Zygaena subarcuata Storer, 1848
Zygaena vulgaris Cloquet, 1830

Common Name (s)
• Smooth Hammerhead (English)
• Round Headed Hammerhead Shark (English)
• Hammerhead Shark (English)
• Hammerhead (English)
• Common Smooth Hammerhead Shark (English)
• Common Hammerhead Shark (English)
• Common Hammerhead (English)
• Round Headed Hammerhead (English)
• Round Headed Hammer Shark (English)
• Kan Moosi (Gujarati)
• Variocha (Kannada)
• Chadayan (Malayalam)
• Chattithalayan Sravu (Malayalam)
• Kombansurav (Malayalam)
• Kan Mushi (Marathi)
• Kaneri (Marathi)
• Boot (Marathi)
• Komban Sorrah (Tamil)
• Koma Sorrah (Telugu)
• Shovelhead shark (English)
• Boot (Gujarati)
• Kaner (Gujarati)
• Kaneri (Gujarati)
• Variocha (Marathi)
• Chattythalayan Sravu (Malayalam)
• Komban Sorrah (Tamil)
• Kannu - Pakhi Magur (Telugu)
• Komban Sorrah (Oriya)
• Smooth Hammerhead Shark (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish. Meat utilized fresh, dried-salted, and possibly smoked for human consumption; liver oil for vitamins, fins for soup, hide for leather, and carcasses for fishmeal.
Traumatogenic. Regarded as being dangerous to people. Reported to cause poisoning.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Captured in a number of fisheries throughout its range.)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Estuarine, Open Sea, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Small sharks, skates, stingrays, bony fishes, shrimps, crabs, barnacles and cephalopods
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Kerala, Kochi INDIA (Record: 2000-2002)
• Tamil Nadu, Parangipettai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kilakarai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Off South East Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Lawsons Bay INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi Fisheries Harbour INDIA (Record: 01/2008-06/2009)

Literature Source(s)
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  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 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
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at - http://www.unep-wcmc.org/
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  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at - http://www.iobis.org/
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  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
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  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Discover life Available at - http://www.discoverlife.org/
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 - http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/X2097E/X2097E14.htm#ch11.
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM
  • 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 - http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/sereport/ser/stdy_coral.pdf
  • Ramani, K; Ammini, PL; Srinivasan, J; Najeemudeen, SH; Beena, MR; George, KP; Seynudeen, MB; Subbaraman, G; Anandan, K; Khambadkar, LL; Augustine, SK; Pugazhendi, D; Rudhramurthy, N; Subramani, S; Seetharaman, S; Batcha, HK and Sankaralingam, S (2010) An overview of marine fisheries in India during 2007 Marine Fisheries Information Service CMFRI, Kochi 203 1-14 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/4056/1/Special_Publn_95.pdf
  • George, MJ and Subbaraju, G (1979) Small scale fisheries at Lawson's bay Waltair Marine fisheries information service-technical series George, MJ 6 10-13 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 - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Dominant Fish Groups Occurring in Indian Coasts Daya publishing house 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
  • Akhilesh, KV; Ganga, U; Pillai, NGK; Vivekanandan, E; Bineesh, KK; Shanis, CPR and Hashim, M (2011) Deep-sea fishing for chondrichthyan resources and sustainability concerns-a case study from southwest coast of India Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences NISCAIR 40(3) 347-355 Available at - nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/.../1/IJMS%2040(3)%20347-355.pdf

Page last updated on:2012-02-17

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