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, Smalleye Hammerhead, Golden Hammerhead Shark

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