Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes
(Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae
Etymology: Carcharhinus: Greek, karcharos = sharpen + Greek, rhinos = nose (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 100 m (Ref. 27000), usually 0 - ? m (Ref. 55179). Subtropical; 40°N - 38°S, 100°W - 155°E (Ref. 55179)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 210.0, range 170 - 266 cm
Max length : 300 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26999); common length : 250 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573); max. published weight: 89.7 kg (Ref. 40637)
soft rays: 0. A slender shark with a long, narrow, pointed snout, long gill slits and small, narrow-cusped teeth; first dorsal fin small; no interdorsal ridge; labial furrows longer than in any other grey shark (Ref. 5578). Grey above, white below, with a conspicuous white band on sides; second dorsal, anal, undersides of pectorals and lower caudal-fin lobe black or dark grey-tipped in subadults and adults, but unmarked or nearly so in small individuals (Ref. 9997).
Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA to northern Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas, then from southern Brazil to northern Argentina. Reported from Cuba (Ref. 26340). Eastern Atlantic: Spain to Namibia, including the southern Mediterranean Sea. Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea south to South Africa and eastward to Indonesia, north to Japan, south to Australia. Often referred to as Carcharhinus limbatus in the past.
Found on the continental and insular shelves from close inshore to offshore (Ref. 244). Makes vertical spinning leaps out of the water as a feeding technique in which the sharks spins through a school of small fish with an open mouth and then breaks the surface (Ref. 9997). Feeds mainly on pelagic bony fishes, also small sharks, cuttlefish, squids, and octopi (Ref. 244, 5578). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Forms schools (Ref. 244). Highly migratory off Florida and Louisiana and in the Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 244). Regularly caught in fisheries where found (Ref. 244). Utilized fresh and dried salted for human consumption (Ref. 244). Fins probably used in the oriental shark fin trade, and livers for vitamin oil production (Ref. 9997).
Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00550 (0.00279 - 0.01081), b=3.06 (2.89 - 3.23), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (62 of 100) .