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 Leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata)

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Leopard shark
© Jeremy Stafford Deitsch
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Ground sharks (Carcharhiniformes)
    Family: Houndsharks (Triakidae)
      Genus: Triakis (Triakis)


Scientific: Triakis semifasciata
German: Leopardenhai
English: Leopard shark
French: Virli leopard
Spanish: Tollo leopardo


Short, broadly rounded snout. First dorsal fin is moderately large and its origin is over the pectoral fins inner margins. Second dorsal fin is nearly as large as the first one (height approximately 3/4 of the first dorsal fin). Anal fin much smaller than the second dorsal fin. Pectoral fins broadly triangular.


Very conspicuous dark saddles and dots. Grey to bronze-grey upper body with light ventral surface.


Eastern Pacific: Oregon to Gulf of California, Mexico.


An abundant species of cool and warm-temperate waters. Found inshore and offshore in continental littoral waters. Most common on or near the bottom in shallow water, from about 4m down to 90 m. Prefers sandy or muddy bays. An active, strong swimming species. They form large schools that seem to be nomadic. The swimming motion of this species is undulating. Often seen together with Brown Smoothhound and Grey smooth-hound or Spiny dogfish .


Feeds primarily on bottom-living invertebrates, not so much on fishes. Small sharks have been found in their stomachs too. Diet seems to change with season and size.


Average size between 120 cm to 150 cm, maximum total length about 180 cm.


Aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous). 4 to 29 pups per litter. Size at birth about 20 cm. Slow growth. They reach maturity at an age of about 10 years, males at a size between 70 cm and 120 cm, females at approximately 110 cm and 130 cm, respectively.

 Similar Species



Status in the IUCN Red List(1994):

Main criterion: > LR/cd ()
Sub criterion:
Trend: Unknown

 Danger to Humans


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