Nebrius ferrugineus (Lesson, 1831)
Tawny nurse shark
Nebrius ferrugineus
photo by Banks, I.

Family:  Ginglymostomatidae (Nurse sharks)
Max. size:  320 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 70 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Persian Gulf (Ref.80050), Red Sea and East Africa to the Tuamoto Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. A large, bulky nurse shark with a small mouth and small comb-like teeth, and with angular fins (Ref. 5578). Caudal fin shorter, much less than half the length of body; no ridges on side of the body; pectoral fins falcate (Ref. 6871). Brown dorsally, paler ventrally (Ref. 391); fins slightly dusky (Ref. 9999). Spiracles much smaller than eye (Ref. 9999).
Biology:  Found on continental and insular shelves, from the intertidal down to at least 70 m (Ref. 247). Occurs on or near the bottom in lagoons or along the outer edges of coral and rocky reefs, sandy areas near reefs and off sandy beaches (Ref. 247, 43278). Primarily nocturnal, but may be active during the day (Ref. 247). Prefers crevices and caves on reefs but may be found hiding in more exposed areas (Ref. 247). Forms resting aggregations, and often seen piled across or on top of one another (Ref. 247). Feeds on a wide variety of bottom invertebrates, small fishes (Ref. 247), including cephalopods, crustaceans and sea urchins (Ref. 37816), corals (Ref. 68964). Docile and known to allow itself to be touched, but a few non-fatal attacks have been recorded (Ref. 247). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 43278). 4 or more young are born per litter (Ref. 37816). Survives in captivity (Ref. 247). Marketed fresh and dried-salted; fins dried for the oriental sharkfin trade; liver processed for vitamins and oil; offal processed for fishmeal; hide potentially valuable for leather (Ref. 247).
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable(A2abcd+3cd+4abcd) (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:  Specimen from Navotas Market, Manila is mapped as the first record from the country (Ref. 47737). Recorded from Lanuza Bay (Ref. 104756). Caught inshore (Ref. 9999). Also Ref. 247, 6871, 43278.

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 08.06.17
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 20.11.95

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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