Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes
(Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae
Etymology: Carcharhinus: karcharos (Gr.), sharp or jagged; rhinus, an ancient name for sharks, from rhine (Gr.), rasp, both words alluding to a shark's jagged, rasp-like skin. (See ETYFish); sorrah: Tamil (Indian subcontinent) word for shark [authorship often attributed to Müller & Henle, who published Valenciennes’ description]. (See ETYFish).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 140 m (Ref. 30573), usually 1 - 73 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical; 31°N - 31°S
Indo-West Pacific: Persian Gulf (Ref. 68964), Red Sea and East Africa (including Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles) to the Philippines, north to China, south to Australia. Also from Vanikolo Island (Santa Cruz Islands) and the Solomon Islands. Possibly occurring in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and Sri Lanka (Ref. 9997).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 130.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 160 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334); max. published weight: 28.0 kg (Ref. 6390); max. reported age: 8 years (Ref. 6390)
soft rays: 0. A small, spindle-shaped shark with a long, rounded snout, large circular eyes, and oblique-cusped serrated teeth; 2nd dorsal fin very low; interdorsal ridge present (Ref. 5578). 2nd dorsal, pectorals and lower caudal lobe with dark tips; 1st dorsal with thin but conspicuous dark tip; pelvic fins and upper caudal lobe plain (Ref. 5485). Grey or grey-brown above, white below with a golden-brown sheen on the area between eyes and gill slits (in fresh specimens); pectorals, second dorsal, and lower caudal fin lobe with conspicuous black tips, first dorsal and upper caudal fin lobe with black edging (Ref. 9997). A dark band on flank extending rearwards to pelvic fins (Ref. 9997).
Found on the continental and insular shelves, primarily near reefs (Ref. 244). Sometimes in offshore waters (Ref. 30573). Live near the seabed during the day and near the surface at night (Ref. 6390). Feeds on bony fishes (Ref. 68964). Shark movements often short (50 km) but may be more than 1,000 km (Ref. 6390). Prefers teleost fishes but also feeds on cephalopods and crustaceans (Ref. 6871). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Regularly caught by local artisanal and small-scale commercial fisheries where it occurs (Ref. 244). Utilized as a food fish; fins used in the oriental shark fin trade, liver for vitamin oil, and offal for fishmeal (Ref. 9997).
Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta (Ref. 244). Pups, average 3, range 1-8, are produced in January after a 10-month gestation period. Average length at birth is 50 cm TL. Length increases by about 25 cm during the first year. These sharks breed once each year (Ref. 13440). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
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. (Ref. 244)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 24.5 - 29, mean 27.8 °C (based on 2844 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00347 (0.00195 - 0.00615), b=3.16 (3.01 - 3.31), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.5 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 3.2 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.34; tm=2-3; tmax=8; Fec=3).
Prior r = 0.28, 95% CL = 0.16 - 0.49, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100).
Climate Vulnerability (Ref. 125649
): Very high vulnerability (90 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 18.7 [2.9, 70.5] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.687 [0.202, 2.281] mg/100g ; Protein = 21 [18, 23] % ; Omega3 = 0.235 [0.083, 0.632] g/100g ; Selenium = 36.9 [6.1, 116.5] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 49.2 [13.9, 175.0] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.747 [0.333, 1.615] mg/100g (wet weight);