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Alopias vulpinus  (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Thresher
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Alopias vulpinus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Alopias vulpinus (Thresher)
Alopias vulpinus
Picture by Steele, M.A.

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);  vulpinus: Named comes from the Latin 'vulpes' meaning fox (Ref. 6885).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 550 m (Ref. 26346), usually 0 - 200 m (Ref. 55168).   Subtropical; 67°N - 58°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 54279)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 303.0, range 226 - 400 cm
Max length : 760 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6885); 549.0 cm TL (female); common length : 450 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 348.0 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 81241)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A large thresher with relatively small eyes, curved, narrow-tipped pectoral fins, a narrow-tipped caudal fin, and a conspicuous white patch over the pectoral fin bases (Ref. 5578). Second dorsal origin well behind the rear tip of the pelvic fin (Ref. 559). Upper lobe of caudal fin very long and strap-like, about as long as or longer than length of rest of shark; lower lobe short but well developed (Ref. 13570). Brown, grey, blue-grey, or blackish on back and underside of snout, lighter on sides and abruptly white below; a white area extends from the abdomen over the pectoral-fin bases; pectoral-, pelvic-, and dorsal fins blackish, white dots sometimes present on pectoral-, pelvic-, and caudal- fin tips (Ref. 13570).

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

Cosmopolitan in temperate and tropical seas (Ref. 6871). Western Atlantic: Newfoundland, Canada to Cuba, Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil to Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: Norway and British Isles to the Mediterranean, Morocco, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire; also Cape Province, South Africa. Indo-Pacific: scattered localities from the Gulf of Aden and East Africa to the Hawaiian, Society and Fanning islands. Eastern Pacific: Canada to Chile. Population considered reduced (R) in the US Atlantic waters; lower risk/conservation dependent (LR/CD) in US Pacific waters; data deficient (DD) in the rest of Atlantic and rest of Pacific (Ref. 12451). Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Coastal over continental and insular shelves and epipelagic far from land (Ref. 30573, 43278, 58302). Oceanic although most abundant near land, pelagic at 1-366 m (Ref. 58302). Young often close inshore and in shallow bays (Ref. 5578). Feeds on schooling fishes (including mackerels, bluefishes, clupeids, needlefishes, lancetfishes and lanternfishes), squid, octopi, pelagic crustaceans, and rarely seabirds (Ref. 247). Ovoviviparous, embryos feeding on yolk sac and other ova produced by the mother (Ref. 43278, 50449). Uses its long caudal fin to bunch up and stun prey (Ref. 2850). Spatial and depth segregation by sex in northwestern Indian Ocean populations (Ref. 247). A few attacks on boats are doubtfully attributed to this species, but it is otherwise apparently harmless to humans, though the size of adults of this species command respect (Ref. 247). May cause damage to fishing gear (Ref. 6885). Valued for its meat, liver, hide, and fins; utilized fresh, dried-salted, smoked, and frozen (Ref. 9987).

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.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd+3bd+4bd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless (Ref. 247)




Human uses

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

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01050 (0.00470 - 0.02345), b=2.87 (2.68 - 3.06), 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 (K=0.1; tm=5-7; tmax=19; Fec=2-4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (77 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.