Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Lamniformes
(Mackerel sharks) > Alopiidae
Etymology: Alopias: Greek, alopex = fox (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 730 m (Ref. 89423), usually 0 - 100 m (Ref. 43278). Subtropical; 46°N - 40°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 54278)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 154 - 341 cm
Max length : 488 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 350 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 363.8 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 28081)
soft rays: 0. A large thresher with very large eyes, an indented forehead, a broad caudal tip, and curved broad-tipped pectoral fins; 1st dorsal fin further back than in other threshers (Ref. 5578). Upper lobe of caudal fin very long and strap-like almost or quite equal to length of rest of shark; lower lobe short but well developed (Ref. 13570). Purplish grey above, cream below, posterior edges of pectoral and pelvic fins and sometimes first dorsal fin dusky; light color of abdomen not expanded over pectoral-fin bases (Ref. 13570).
Circumtropical. Western Atlantic: New York, USA southward to Bahamas and Cuba; Panama (Ref. 6871) to Uruguay (Ref. 58839). Eastern Atlantic: Portugal to Angola, including the Mediterranean. Indo-Pacific: Arabian Sea, Madagascar, South Africa, southern Japan, Taiwan, northern Viet Nam (Ref. 13570), New Caledonia, northwestern coast of Australia, New Zealand and north and south of the Hawaiian Islands Eastern Pacific: southern California (USA), Costa Rica and Panama (Ref. 9253), Galapagos Islands Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).
Occurs in coastal waters over continental shelves, sometimes close inshore in shallow waters, and on the high seas far from land (Ref. 247, 43278, 58302). Oceanic, pelagic and near bottom at 1->500 m (Ref. 58302). Depth range to at least 500 m (Ref. 247). Feeds on pelagic fishes (lancetfishes, herring, mackerel and small billfishes (Ref. 43278)) and bottom fishes (hake (Ref. 43278)) and squids (Ref. 247). Ovoviviparous, embryos feeding on yolk sac and other ova produced by the mother (Ref. 43278, 50449). Stuns its prey with its long caudal fin (Ref. 247). Utilized for human consumption, liver oil for vitamins, skin for leather, and fins for shark-fin soup (Ref. 247). Marketed fresh and may be broiled, baked or grilled, but unsuitable for steaming, boiling or frying; meat may be salted and dried (Ref. 9987). Also Ref. 33743.
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
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
= 0.7500 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01200 (0.00667 - 0.02158), b=2.91 (2.75 - 3.07), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=2-4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (79 of 100) .