Summary of Longfin Makos Isurus paucus Guitard Manday, 1966

Characteristics for longfin mako compared to shortfin mako (preliminary based on Guitard Manday (1966); Garrick (1967); Dodrill & Gilmore (1979); Compagno (1984); Moreno and Moron (1992); (L. Compagno, D. Ebert, and J. Seigel personal communications). See below for bibliography.
1. Longer pectoral fin
2. Underside
of snout at least partially dusky
3. Anal fin more backward compared to second dorsal fin. I.e. origin of anal fin at or slightly behind insertion of second dorsal fin in
longfin mako. In shortfin mako, the origin of the anal fin is about midway below base of second dorsal fin.
4. Third upper tooth in longfin mako almost symmetrical (asymmetric and oblique in shape for shortfin mako).
5. The gape between 3rd and 4th upper tooth is missing in large longfin mako specimen. This is characteristic for shortfin mako. A quantitative study on this character would be interesting, particularly if it is over a broad size range within both species.
6. In the shortfin mako, the tooth base width in the 4th upper jaw tooth is considerably narrower (relative to the tooth cusp length) than in the third or fifth tooth.

No or Photo Reference Sex SL (m) FL
TL (m) W (kg) Comments


Guitart Manday (1975) Male     0.920 12.0 Pregnant female with 2 near-term embryos (one male, one female) was caught in 1973. Female embryo was lost before it could be studied.
2 Gilmore (1983)   0.770 0.862 0.970 5.200 One of litter of 2 (see # for mother)
3 Casey (1986) 4&4   1.020 1.1176 11.0 Mean data from litter of eight (8!). See below for data of mother.
4 Garrick(1967)       1.23   Smallest free swimming
5 Guitard Manday (1966) Fem     1.955  

Pectoral fin 30.4% of TL compared to 21.0-23.9% for comparison shortfin mako
Pectoral fin 107.7% of upper caudal fin, compared to 80.1-94.6 for shorfin mako

6 Guitard Manday (1966) Male     2.030 90.72 Pectoral fin 30.0% of TL,
Pectoral fin 115.0% of upper caudal fin
7 Guitard Manday (1966) Fem     2.260   Pectoral fin 29.2% of TL,
  Male 1.9       Mature male (Bob Hueter p.c.)
Rare longfin mako shark ‘phones home’ with unexpected news
8 Moreno & Morón (1992)   2.243   2.628   Largest of 18 with TL range from 1.62-2.63 m, mean 2.13 m. Standard length 80.7-85.4% of Tl. Pectoral fin height (not defined) decreasing from30.7 to 22.5% with increasing TL.
MakoMar21_98Head.jpg #9
James Aliberti
Fem     3.25** 316.7

Caught at 6 am on 21 Mar 1998 near Midway Atoll. Slides provided for scaning by James Aliberti, Refuge Ranger, US Fish & Wildlife Service. Dave Ebert suggested that it is I. paucus.

10 Dodrill & Gilmore (1979) Fem     est. 3.12-3.34   Live adult female with a missing eye was discovered partially grounded in the surf at Melbourn Beach, Brevard County, Florida (28 deg 00' 05" N, 80 deg 31' 20" W at dawn on 28 December 1975.
  Ebert (2001) Fem     3.0-3.3 300 Captured in 1990 approximately 10 miles norht of Santa Barbara Island, Santa Barbara County, CA, USA by T. Athens, a commercial longline fisherman. It was caught at a depth of about 30 m in water over 800 m deep.
  Ebert (2001) Fem     3.3-3.6   Caught in 1988 approximately 6 miles southeast of Anacapa Island, Ventura County, CA, USA. The specimen was dressed and shipped to a Boston MA seafood buyer, who recognized it as longfin mako and returned it to the fisherman in California. The firm-bodied flesh of the shortfin mako is highly desirable while the that of the longfin mako is mushy and of poor quality.
Io_large_23.jpg #11
Jeff Seigel p.c.
Fem     3.480 336
(740 lb)
Caught off Redondo Beach CA, USA on July 13, 1996; 23 kg (50 lb) blue shark found in stomach. Dave Ebert suggested it could be I. paucus.
Mako 1er record.jpg #12
IGFA 1989 p.94
Fem     3.73** 454
(1000 lb)
Caught on March 14, 1943 off Major Island NZ by B. Ross. Photo provided by P. Guillanton, who suggests it could be longfin mako, Isurus paucus. Both Dave Ebert and Clinton Duffy suggested that shortfin mako identification more likely despite apparent long pectoral fin.
Mako_previous_record.jpg #13 Fem     3.69** 490 kg
(1080 lb
Taken by James Melanson of Montauk NY (USA) on Aug. 26, 1979. Photo provided by P. Guillanton. Previous IGFA record. Dave Ebert suggested that it is I. paucus.
16 Casey (1986) Fem   3.10 3.30 409 The pregnant female was caught in Mona Passage in January 1983 and contained 8 near-term embryos with TL range 1.14-1.22 m (see #3 above)
  Douglas Long ?     3.38   Caught off Taiwan. Waiting for date of capture and photo of set of jaws..
17 Gilmore (1983) Fem 3.025 3.366 3.728 351 Largest (and pregnant) of 13 specimens (SL = 1.675-3.035) from 1975-1980. Caught 3 December 1980 on a 16 km swordfish longline. The greatly expanded and vascularized left uterus suggested that a second had been present but was apparently aborted during capture.
18 Killam & Parsons (1986) Fem 3.13 3.42 3.93*   First record of the longfin mako in the Gulf of Mexico. Caught by longline fisherman on 1 April 1985 80 mi south of Panaman City FL (28 deg 55' N, 85 deg 35' W) near the surface in water ~ 600 m deep
19 Dodrill & Gilmore (1979)           Caught on 20 April 1978 by William Minuth of Fort Pierce. Collected from the Florida east coast on drifting longlines set for swordfish (Xiphias gladius) over 200-400 m near the western edge of the Florida straits between Jupiter Inlet, Palm Beach Countr and Sebastion Inlet, Brevard County. Was identified from severed head.
  Jim Boudon (2005, homepage) ?     3.7   On May 5, 1999, a large (estimate 3.7 m) female mako was caught and identified as a longfin mako using the standard identification key. Identification was questionen, click here for details.
20 Dodrill & Gilmore (1979) Fem     4.17   Caught on 19 May 1978 by George Giannikopoulus of Fort Pierce. Collected from the Florida east coast on drifting longlines set for swordfish (Xiphias gladius) over 200-400 m near the western edge of the Florida straits between Jupiter Inlet, Palm Beach Countr and Sebastion Inlet, Brevard County
21 Gordon Hubbell ?     ~4.27   Sonny Gruber and Gordon Hubbell measured a huge longfin mako at 14' total length. It was a massive shark. Gordon Hubbell has the jaw in his collection.
No or Photo Reference Sex SL (m) FL
TL (m) W (kg) Comments

* estimated using TL/FL = 1.152, mean from 7 large longfin mako (Wes Pratt)


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Casey, J. G. 1986.
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