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NEFSC Apex Predators Program

lemon shark Lemon shark

LEMON SHARK

Negaprion brevirostris

SIZE

To about 10.5 ft (3.2 m).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • First and second dorsal fins triangular, about equal in size
  • Color yellowish-green, brown, or olive-gray above; yellowish below
  • Snout blunt, shorter than width of mouth
  • No interdorsal ridge

DISTRIBUTION

New Jersey to Brazil, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Uncommon north of Cape Hatteras, NC.

HABITAT

Primarily coastal; common around coral keys, docks, bays, and estuaries; young frequent mangroves and grass flats.

SIMILAR SPECIES

Sand Tiger has flattened snout, narrrow, needlelike teeth with 1-2 small cusplets, first dorsal fin set farther back behind pectoral fins. Nurse shark has nasal barbels; lacks distinct lower lobe of caudal fin.

MORE INFORMATION

Ichthyology at the Florida Museum of Natural History


Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

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(File Modified Aug. 08 2017)