We’ve already talked about one citrus shark -- the lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris)… but there’s another lemon in the ocean. Meet the sicklefin lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens) which looks almost identical to the lemon shark! This stocky shark is also known as the sharptooth lemon shark, and can be distinguished from N. brevirostris by their pectoral fins, which are sickle-shaped (hence the common name).
The sicklefin lemon shark is a pale yellow-brown colour and also has similarly shaped dorsal fins (like N. brevirostris). They are found in tropical waters near continental shelves, seen as deep as 30 m (10 ft). These sharks like to frequent bays, estuaries and reef lagoons in the Indian and Pacific Ocean. Here, they eat bony fish and stingrays.
Sicklefin lemon sharks are viviparous and have a gestation period of ten months with a litter of anywhere from one to thirteen pups. Once these pups grow up, they are targeted for their meat, liver oil and fins. They are thought to be vulnerable due to overfishing, and their small habitat restrictions. In fact, there have been local extinctions in India and Thailand! The IUCN classifies sicklefin lemon sharks as Vulnerable (VU) ,and the Southeast Asia subpopulation in particular is classified as Endangered (EN).
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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