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Triaenodon obesus  (Rüppell, 1837)

Whitetip reef shark
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Image of Triaenodon obesus (Whitetip reef shark)
Triaenodon obesus
Picture by Randall, J.E.


Australia country information

Common names: Blunthead shark, Whitetip reef shark, Whitetip shark
Occurrence: native
Salinity: marine
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Occurs in northern Australia, from Point Quobba in Western Australia to Gladstone in Queensland (Ref. 6871). Not utilized commercially (Ref. 6871). Also Ref. 244, 1602, 7300, 9997, 33390, 37816.
National Checklist:
Country Information: httpss://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html
National Fisheries Authority: https://www.csiro.au/
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994
National Database:

Classification / Names

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae (Requiem sharks)
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL

Common names from other countries

Main reference

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 213 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 244); common length : 160 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 244); max. published weight: 18.3 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 6807)

Length at first maturity
Lm ?, range 105 - 109 cm

Environment

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 330 m (Ref. 244), usually 8 - 40 m (Ref. 244)

Climate / Range

Tropical, preferred ?; 29°N - 30°S, 33°E - 77°W (Ref. 55196)

Distribution

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Indonesia and the Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819), north to Ryukyu and Ogasawara islands, south to New South Wales (Australia), New Caledonia, and the Austral and Pitcairn islands; throughout Micronesia. Eastern Pacific: Cocos and Galapagos islands, Panama to Costa Rica.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A small, slender shark with an extremely short, broad snout, oval eyes, and conspicuous white tips on the 1st dorsal (sometimes 2nd) and upper caudal fins; 2nd dorsal almost as large as 1st; no interdorsal ridge (Ref. 5578). Spiracles usually present, teeth 47-50/ 44-46, in at least 2 functional rows. Grey above, lighter below and sometimes with dark spots on sides (Ref. 5578). First dorsal-fin lobe and dorsal caudal-fin lobe with conspicuous white tips, second dorsal-fin lobe and ventral caudal-fin lobe often white-tipped (Ref. 9997).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Sluggish inhabitant of lagoons and seaward reefs where it is often found resting in caves or under coral ledges during the day (Ref. 6871, 58302), or usually on a sand patch, or in a channel (Ref. 37816). More active at night or during slack tide in areas of strong currents (Ref. 37816). Feeds on benthic animals such as fishes, octopi, spiny lobsters and crabs (Ref. 244). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Travels distances from about 0.3 to 3 km in periods up to about 1 year (Ref. 244). Rarely reported to attack humans, but is potentially dangerous especially when fish had been speared (Ref. 244). Probably fished wherever it occurs (Ref. 244). Caught by inshore longline and gillnet fisheries, and probably adversely affected by dynamite fishing (Ref.58048). Meat and liver utilized fresh for human consumption (Ref. 244). The liver of this shark has been reported as toxic (Ref. 583). One to five 60 cm young per litter (Ref. 1602).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)



Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805)
PD50 = 1.0000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278)
4.2   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.

Resilience (Ref. 69278)
Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=5-9; tmax=25; Fec=1)

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153)
Very high vulnerability (83 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Medium