Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Sphyrna lewini, Scalloped Hammerhead, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

hammer = wide blade, front convex + central notch
D1 moderately large, erect
teeth smooth
pelvics: rear edge straight

Sphyrna lewini (Griffith & Smith, 1834)

Scalloped Hammerhead, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

A large hammerhead shark with broad hammer (width 24-30% of TL), narrow-bladed side extensions on the head; front margin of head broadly convex, and scalloped due to a prominent middle indentation, a more conspicuous notch near the end of each side of the hammer (which sets off the end lobe bearing the eye), and a slight indentation in front margin between the central and side notches on each side; teeth smooth; front teeth blade-like, with 1 point, upper teeth oblique, deeply notched on rear side, lower teeth straight, rear teeth like front teeth; five gill slits, last one over pectoral; first dorsal fin moderately large and erect, free rear tip not reaching level of pelvic origin; 2nd dorsal fin low but long, free rear tip nearly reaching caudal fin; base of anal fin noticeably longer than that of second dorsal fin; pelvics with ~ straight rear edge; transverse pit above tail base crescent shaped, a pit below tail base; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, notched under tip of top lobe, large lower lobe.

Brownish grey, shading to white ventrally; undersides of pectoral fins tipped with black.

Size: attains 340 cm; size at birth 42-55 cm.

Habitat: coastal and oceanic, young in shallow muddy areas.

Depth: 0-1042 m.

Worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas; Canada to southern Brazil.

Note: Genetically distinct from S gilberti; the only morphological feature that distinguishes these two is the number of vertebrae on the trunk of the body: 85 (83-91) in S gilberti, 95 (92-99) in S lewini

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Corals
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic phase
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Critically endangered
  • Listed
  • Appendix II
  • Listed
Length Max
  • 340
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1042