Lemon shark with remora in shallow waters of the Bahamas

Lemon shark

Lemon sharks are short-nosed and stocky sharks with a powerful bite. It should come as no surprise that their yellow-brown pitted skin can have the appearance of a lemon. This helps them to blend in against sandy seafloors where they can lay motionless. Females give birth to live young known as pups in shallow nursery waters, where they remain for several years.

Shallow waters, usually in or near mangroves, provide the protection from larger sharks the pups need, whilst also offering rich hunting grounds. Lemon sharks are bottom dwellers, preferring the tropical shallow waters of coral reefs, mangroves, bays and estuaries. They are adapted to withstand different salinities and have even been known to travel up rivers in freshwater.

Scientific name: Negaprion brevirostris

Rank: Species

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The Lemon shark can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Australia, Great Barrier Reef, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Lemon shark distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Lemon shark