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Sphyrna tiburo

Shark Family

Saltwater Fish Identification


Common Name(s):
Bonnet Shark, Shovelnose Shark
The bonnethead is particularly distinctive in appearance because it has a smooth, broadly widened head, frequently described as "spade shaped," which has more curve to it than do the heads of any other hammerheads. Also, the front of the head is lacking a median groove, which is present in other hammerheads. Gray to grayish brown in color, the bonnethead shark seldom exceeds 3 feet in length, maturing at about that length to bear 6 to 12 live young at one time.
Similar Fish:
Other Hammerhead Sharks
Feeding Habits:
The Bonnethead feeds primarily on crabs, shrimp, and small fish.
These fish occur in the western Atlantic from North Carolina (occasionally Rhode Island) to southern Brazil, as well as around Cuba and the Bahamas, and in the eastern Pacific from Southern California to Ecuador.
The bonnethead sticks largely to the shallows and is a common sight to the many Floridians who fish Speckled Trout and other species on the flats. They also roam channels and deeper water.
Typical Size:
Bonnetheads average 2 to 5 pounds and occasionally top 10 pounds.
World Record:
23 pounds, 12 ounces (IGFA)