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Hammerhead shark.jpg
Great Hammerhead (S. mokarran)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Sphyrnidae
Genus: Sphyrna
Rafinesque, 1810
Type species
Squalus zygaena
Linnaeus, 1758
Sphyrna distribution map.svg
  • Cestraciom Walbaum, 1792
  • Cestracion Klein, 1776
  • Cestracion T. N. Gill, 1862
  • Cestracion J. D. Ogilby, 1916
  • Cestrorhinus Blainville, 1816
  • Mesozygaena Compagno, 1988
  • Platysqualus Swainson, 1839
  • Reniceps T. N. Gill, 1862
  • Sphyra Van der Hoeven, 1855
  • Sphyrichthys Thienemann, 1828
  • Sphyrnias Rafinesque, 1815
  • Zygaena G. Cuvier, 1816
  • Zygana Swainson, 1838
  • Zygoena A. Risso, 1827

Sphyrna (from the Greek word σφυρί "hammer") is a genus of hammerhead sharks with a cosmopolitan distribution in the world's oceans. Members of Sphyrna have a tendency to inhabit coastal waters along the intertidal zone rather than the open ocean, as their prey items such as invertebrates, fish, rays, small crustaceans and other benthic organisms hide in the sands and sediment along these zones. Members of Sphyrna are also known by a large number of synonyms such as Zygaena, Cestracion, and Sphyrichthys. The earliest species described of this genus was Sphyrna zygaena by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, while the newest member Sphyrna gilberti was discovered and described in 2013.


There are currently eight recognized species in this genus:[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Sphyrna in FishBase. June 2013 version.
  2. ^ a b Quattro, J.M., Driggers, W.B. III, Grady, J.M., Ulrich, G.F. & Roberts, M.A. (2013): Sphyrna gilberti sp. nov., a new hammerhead shark (Carcharhiniformes, Sphyrnidae) from the western Atlantic Ocean. Zootaxa, 3702 (2): 159–178.
  3. ^ Martin, R. Aidan. (February 24, 1998). Recent Changes in Hammerhead Taxonomy. ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research. Retrieved on October 18, 2008.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Sphyrna at Wikimedia Commons