Carcharhinus melanopterus

Author: (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824)

Carcharhnus melanopterus (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824)

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: snout short, bluntly rounded; distance from snout tip to outer ends of nostrils less than half distance between inner ends of nostrils. Mouth crescent-shaped; upper teeth broad cusped, oblique, slightly notched posteriorly, edges serrate; lower teeth narrow, erect, finely serrate. Pectoral fins relatively broad; first dorsal fin origin over pectoral free tip; inter-dorsal ridge absent; second dorsal fin relatively large, height slightly less than half height of first dorsal fin; caudal peduncle short. Colour: lemon-brown above, pale below; all fins tipped black, trailing edge of caudal fin black. Size: to 180 cm TL, common to 160 cm TL.

Habitat: coastal reefs; territorial, aggressive. Food: primarily fish. Reproduction: viviparous, litters of 4-14 pups born at approximately 50 cm TL. Gestation period may be 12 months, or possibly 16 months; parturition occurs in coastal waters; mature at 110 cm TL.

Distribution: from Israel to at least Tunisia in Mediterranean, but may be widespread after moving through the Suez Canal from Red Sea. Elsewhere, in Red Sea, eastern and western parts of Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific to Hawaii.

Complementary iconography. Quoy and Gaimard, 1824, Atlas, pl. 43 | Jordan and Evermann, 1905, pl. 1 | Schultz et al., 1953, pl. 3A | Kato et al., 1967, fig. 62.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Melouk, 1957: 229-251.