Lemon sharks get their name from their light coloration. Males seem to be thinner than the females who can reach over 10 feet in length and be very bulky. They have a pointy snout and small eyes as well as two dorsal fins, like a nurse or ragged tooth shark. There are two species of this shark, they are the Lemon Shark and Sicklefin Lemon Shark. The Lemon Shark is found in the Atlantic while the Sicklefin Lemon shark is found in the Indo/Pacific.
Their yellow skin colour provides perfect camouflage against sandy in-shore areas where it often forages for food. This, along with the shark’s flattened head and short snout, makes the lemon shark a skilful predator. An adult lemon shark can grow to 10 feet long. Lemon Sharks can congregate in groups of up to 20 individuals to feed together at dawn and dusk. Lemon Sharks are often seen resting on the seabed as they continually pump water over their gills to breathe.
Encounters are awesome as this shark is generally not too shy, particularly in the Bahamas they can be quite happy laying next to a diver on the seabed!
The lemon shark is targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries throughout its range and is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List. Aside from its fins the thickness of the lemon shark’s skin also makes it ideal to produce leather.
Why not take a look at our ‘Dive & Stay’ and ‘Liveaboard’ adventures where you can encounter this animal by clicking on the tabs on the left.