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 Night shark (Carcharhinus signatus)

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Night shark
No image of Night shark found in the Shark Database
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

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


Scientific: Carcharhinus signatus
German: Nachthai
English: Night shark
French: Requin de nuit
Spanish: Tiburón nocturno


Large requiem shark with long and pointed snout. Circular eyes (diameter 1.8 to 2.7% of total body length). Small gill slits (height only about 2.5% of total body length). First dorsal fin is small and triangular with origin over the free rear tips of pectorals. Second dorsal fin is small and low (height about 1.7 to 2.1% of total body length) with origin over or slightly posterior to origin of anal fin. Pectoral fins slightly falcate, moderately long with narrow rounded apices. Interdorsal ridge present.


Grey upper body, white ventral surface. No conspicuous markings. Sometimes has small black spots scattered over the body and an inconspicuous white band can be present over the flank.


Western Atlantic: Delaware to Florida, Bahamas, Cuba, southern Brazil and Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Ivory Coast, Ghana to Cameroon, Zaire and Angola. Eastern Pacific: probably off Panama.


A common species of coastal and semi-oceanic deeper waters. Lives preferably at the outer edges of the continental shelves. Prefers depths between 50 to 100 m but has been seen at the surface, and caught in 200 m depth (may even be caught in depths of 600 m). Apparently a schooling species.


Feeds on small fishes, and some squid.


Maximum about 280 cm, average size between 200 and 250 cm.


Viviparous, with yolksac placenta 4 to 12 pups per litter. Size at birth about 60 cm, females reach sexual maturity with a size of about 180 cm.

 Similar Species

Several requiem sharks have a similar appearance and taxonomic features should be used to clearly distinguish among them.


Status in the IUCN Red List:

No Entry found in Red List.

 Danger to Humans


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