Apex Predators Program
28 Tarzwell Drive
Narragansett RI 02882-1152 USA
NEFSC Apex Predators Program
ATLANTIC SHARPNOSE SHARK
To about 4 ft (1.2 m).
- Dorsal surfaces brownish-gray with scattered white spots in adults, white below; dorsal and caudal fins black-edged in juveniles
- Second dorsal fin originating over or behind midpoint of anal fin
- Mouth with long labial furrows around corners
- No interdorsal ridge
New Jersey to Florida, including Gulf of Mexico, with strays north to New Brunswick, Canada.
Coastal; shallow water ranging to 919 ft (280 m), often close to surf zone; enclosed bays, sounds, harbors, marine to brackish estuaries.
Finetooth shark lacks white dorsal spots; has second dorsal fin originating between origin and midpoint of anal fins. Blacknose shark lacks white dorsal spots; has dusky blotch at tip of snout. Smooth dogfish lacks white dorsal spots; has nearly equally sized dorsal fins, spiracles. Spiny dogfish lacks anal fin; has white spots on body, spines at origins of both dorsal fins.
Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico