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the web of life in southern Africa

Lamna nasus (Porbeagle shark)

(Bonnaterre, 1788)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Galeomorphii > Lamniformes > Lamnidae

Lamna nasus (Porbeagle shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A stout, spindle-shaped shark with large black eyes, a sharp conical snout, and small, smooth-edged, narrow cusped teeth with side cusps. Colour dark blue-grey or grey-black above, white below, with rear tip of 1st dorsal abruptly white.


To 3 m TL.


West coast off Cape Town, possibly off Knysna; most cold seas except North Pacific.


Oceanic and close inshore, prefers cold water less than 18 C, ranging from the surface down to 366 m.


Rare in the area. Bears 1 to 5 young. Feeds on small schooling fish, dogfish sharks, soupfin sharks, and squid.

Human Impact

None in the area.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale