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 Blacktail reef shark (Carcharhinus wheeleri)

  Index
> Photo
> Range Map
> Systematics
> Name
> Appearance
> Coloration
> Distribution
> Biology
> Feeding
> Size
> Reproduction
> Similar Species
> Endangerment
> Danger to Humans

 Photo

Blacktail reef shark
No image of Blacktail reef shark found in the Shark Database
 Range Map

Earth Map


 Systematics

Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Ground sharks (Carcharhiniformes)
    Family: Requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae)
      Genus: Carcharhinus (Carcharhinus)


 Name

Scientific: Carcharhinus wheeleri
German: Schwarzschwanzriffhai
English: Blacktail reef shark, Short-nosed blacktail shark
French: Requin a queue noire
Spanish: Tiburón rabinegro


 Appearance

Medium-sized requiem shark, with a broadly rounded snout. Large, round eyes, (diameter between 2 to 2.9% of total body length). First dorsal fin is of medium height, semi-falcate, with a pointed apex. Origin is over or slightly in front of the pectorals" free rear ends. Second dorsal fin is high (2.8 to about 4.1% of total body length). Origin slightly in front or over anal fin origin. Large pectoral fins, falcate, with pointed apices. No dorsal ridge.

 Coloration

Grey upper body, white ventral surface. Conspicuous black terminal edge on entire caudal fin. First dorsal fin has white tip. Pectorals, second dorsal, anal and pelvic fins have blackish or dusky tips.

 Distribution

Western Indian Ocean: South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Comores, Aldabra Islands, Kenya, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea.

 Biology

A common species. Lives in coastal and inshore and offshore waters from the intertidal zone down to about at least 140 m.

 Feeding

Feeds on small fishes, octopi and squid.

 Size

Maximum size about 170 cm, average size between 130 and 150 cm.

 Reproduction

Viviparous, with yolksac placenta. 1 to 4 pups per litter, with a size at birth between 65 and 75 cm. Gestation period about 12 months. Males reach sexual maturity with a minimum length of about 110 cm, females with about 120 cm.

 Similar Species

Can be confused with Blacktip reef shark but that species has a black tip on the first dorsal fin instead of a white one.

 Endangerment

Status in the IUCN Red List:


No Entry found in Red List.


 Danger to Humans

Harmless.



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