, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 110–120

Notes on the occurrence, distribution, and biology of elasmobranch fishes in the Indian River lagoon system, Florida


  • Franklin F. Snelson
    • Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Central Florida

DOI: 10.2307/1351673

Cite this article as:
Snelson, F.F. Estuaries (1981) 4: 110. doi:10.2307/1351673


Fifteen species of elasmobranchs, eight sharks and seven rays, have been recorded with reasonable certainty from the Indian River lagoon system on the central east coast of Florida. We collected four shark and six ray species during a three and one-half year study of the northern portion of the lagoon system. Five of these appear to be year-round residents, and the remainder utilize the area only at restricted times of the year or as a nursery ground. The most abundant resident species areDasyatis sayi, D. sabina, andCarcharhinus leucas. Pristis pectinata, once a common resident species, has been extirpated from the lagoons. The distribution of ocean inlets and salinity appear to be major factors affecting diversity and numbers of elasmobranchs in the Indian River system.

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© Estuarine Research Federation 1981