The scoophead shark (Sphyrna media), also known as the scoophead, is one of 9 species of hammerhead sharks. These sharks all have unique hammer or shovel-shaped heads. The scoophead has a broad, mallet-shaped head that has shallow indentations in its outer edge. The behavior of these sharks is not well known.
Scoophead sharks can grow to a maximum length of about 5 feet, but their average lengths are closer to 3 feet. They have a grayish-brown back and light underside. Their snout is relatively short and they have a mallet-shaped head.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Gnathostomata
- Superclass: Pisces
- Class: Elasmobranchii
- Subclass: Neoselachii
- Infraclass: Selachii
- Superorder: Galeomorphi
- Order: Carcharhiniformes
- Family: Sphyrnidae
- Genus: Sphyrna
- Species: media
Habitat and Distribution:
Scoophead sharks are found in tropical waters in the western Atlantic Ocean from Panama to Southern Brazil, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California to Ecuador. They live in inshore areas over continental shelves, and typically are found in shallow areas no deeper than 200 meters, or 656 feet.
Little is known about the scoophead shark's reproductive behavior. They are viviparous. The pups are thought to be about 1 foot long when born. Females are mature at about 3.2 feet in length, while males mature at about 2.9 feet in length.
Scoophead sharks are listed as "data deficient" by the IUCN Red List. While the shark is caught as bycatch in gillnets off Trinidad, little else is known about how many of these sharks are captured in other fisheries.
References and Further Information:
- Casper, B.M. & Burgess, G.H. 2006. Sphyrna media. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1.
. Accessed July 4, 2012.
- Carpenter, K.E. Sphyrna media: Scoophead. Accessed July 4, 2012.
- Compagno, L., Dando, M. and S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press.
- Elasmodiver. Scoophead Shark. Accessed July 4, 2012.
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Species Information: Sphyrna media. Accessed July 4, 2012.