Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Sphyrna tudes, Golden hammerhead, Golden hammerhead shark, Smalleye hammerhead

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

hammer = broad mallet, deep notch at center front
small eyes
D1 high, erect, free rear tip to over/behind pelvic origin
yellow to orange
teeth smooth, top oblique, bottom straight

Sphyrna tudes (Valenciennes, 1822)

Golden hammerhead shark, Smalleye hammerhead

Head broad, mallet shaped, its front broadly arched, a deep depression at center, smaller rounded depressions opposite each eye; lateral expansion of head prominent, side to side and front to back; eyes small (diameter much less than length of gill slits), rear margin of eye well in front of mouth; nostrils with long prenasal grooves across front of head; mouth large, broadly arched; front teeth blade-like, smooth, rear teeth like front teeth; lower teeth straight, upper teeth oblique, deeply notched on rear side;  five gill slits, last one over pectoral; first dorsal fin high, erect, origin over inner pectoral margin, rear free tip slender, ends over or behind pelvic origin; second dorsal height ¼ of first, free rear tip ends well before tail base pit; anal fin base about twice that of second dorsal base, rear margin shallowly concave; pectoral fins short, broad; rear margin of pelvic fin straight.

Bright yellow to orange, with metallic hues.

Size: 148 cm.

Habitat: Inshore, in estuaries.

Depth: 9-50 m.

Colombia to Uruguay.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Water column
  • Beach
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends South of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 148
Depth Range Min
  • 9
Depth Range Max
  • 50