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the web of life in southern Africa

Negaprion acutidens (Sharptooth lemon shark)

(Rüppell, 1837)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >.Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Galeomorphii > Carcharhiniformes > Carcharhinidae

Negaprion acutidens (Sharptooth lemon shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ©]


A big, stocky, yellowish shark with the 2nd dorsal fin as large as the 1st, a broad, blunt snout, and narrow, smooth-cusped teeth in both jaws.


To 3.1 m TL.


East coast, northern Natal and Mozambique; Indian Ocean and west-central Pacific.



Inshore in the tropics, often on coral reefs, from the intertidal to 30 m.


Bears 1 to 13 young, gestation period 10 months. Feeds on bottom-dwelling bony fish and stingrays.

Human Impact

Can be aggressive when accosted by divers.

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