Alopias pelagicus  Nakamura, 1935

Pelagic thresher
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Alopias pelagicus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Alopias pelagicus (Pelagic thresher)
Alopias pelagicus
Picture by Romanov, E.V.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Lamniformes (Mackerel sharks) > Alopiidae (Thresher sharks)
Etymology: Alopias: Greek, alopex = fox (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 300 m (Ref. 37816), usually 0 - 150 m (Ref. 55167).   Tropical; 40°N - 32°S, 34°E - 83°W (Ref. 54277)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 260 - 292 cm
Max length : 347 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 48844); 383.0 cm TL (female); common length : 276 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. ); max. reported age: 29 years (Ref. 48844)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A small thresher with moderately large eyes, a broadly convex forehead, a very narrow caudal tip, and straight, broad-tipped pectoral fins (Ref. 5578). Upper lobe of caudal fin very long and strap-like, almost equal to length of rest of shark; lower lobe short but strong; terminal lobe very small (Ref. 13570). Dark blue on back and sides, underside white; no white patch over pectoral fin bases (Ref. 5578).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Circumglobal. Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Maldives (Ref. 30829), Somalia, South Africa, Western Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan, New Caledonia, Hawaiian Islands and Tahiti. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California and the Galapagos. Reliable records lacking partly due to its confusion with Alopias vulpinus.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Primarily an oceanic species but sometimes close inshore (Ref. 247, 5578, 58302); neritic to oceanic, 0-152 m (Ref. 11230). Epipelagic (Ref. 58302). Mesopelagic in the tropics; may enter atoll lagoons (Ref. 37816). Stuns its prey with its tail, presumably feeding on small fishes and cephalopods (Ref. 6871). Ovoviviparous, embryos feeding on yolk sac and other ova produced by the mother (Ref. 43278, 50449). Sometimes caught by ski-boat anglers (Ref. 5578). Utilized for human consumption, liver oil for vitamin extraction, hides for leather, and fins for shark-fin soup (Ref. 13570). A very common catch in the tuna and shark longline, and tuna drift net fisheries (Ref.58048). Maximum and common size of males estimated from discussion in Ref. 247. Adult females may reach at least 330 cm TL (Ref. 47613).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

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 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2d+4d)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless (Ref. 13570)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.66 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=2; tm=7-9; tmax = 29).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (85 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.