Lemon shark

Negaprion brevirostris

Family Carcharhinidae - sharks, requiem

Body elongate, stout; snout shorter than width of mouth, blunt; color grayish to yellowish brown above, lighter below; first dorsal fin fairly low; 1st and 2nd dorsal fins nearly equal in size; no interdorsal ridge; origin of 1st dorsal fin behind the pectoral fins; 2nd dorsal starts above or slightly in front of anal fin origin; no interdorsal ridge; upper and lower teeth narrow and triangular, sides of teeth smooth, base of upper teeth finely serrated, upper teeth become more oblique the closer they get to the corners of the mouth.
Similar Species
Sand tigers and nurse sharks have both dorsal fins of nearly equal size. The sand tiger has a flat, pointed snout with needle-like teeth that have small pointed "cusplets" on either side. The nurse sharks has large barbels on its nasal openings and lacks a distinct lower lobe on its caudal tail. In both the sand tiger and nurse sharks, the 1st dorsal fin is set much further back in relation to its pectoral fins than in the lemon shark.
Gulf and bay
Maximum Size
340 cm (11 ft)
Fin Element Counts
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Photos courtesy of Brian Witt and Jonathan Davis, TPWD. This shark was tagged and released alive.
State size/bag limits
Minimum size 64 in.; bag limit is 1 shark/day, including sharpnose, blacktips, bonnetheads, and all other allowable shark species; See Shark Regulations; Check for state record.