Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System
Updated: 06/12/2008  

Contributors | Glossary | Settings  
Home General
What Fish is That?The FishesLibraryRandom ImagesGlossaryResearch Engine

Species Information          
Book mode off
  Book mode off  
Orectolobiformes  -  Rhincodontidae  -  Rhincodon  -  Rhincodon typus

Rhincodon typus

All Families(148) All Genera(504) All Species(1287)
head wide

mouth short, transverse
body: white spots

C: semilunar,  base with keel




Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828

Whale shark

Robust body; snout very short and broad; eye small, round; mouth wide, transverse, a little behind tip of snout; five long gill slits, last three over pectoral fin; two dorsal fins, first over pelvics, second and smaller fin over anal;  tail fin almost symmetrical, with large lower lobe; tail base flattened, with large keel that continues forward as crest along body and over gill slits, with two more crests above along body.

Dark, with prominent white spots.

Size: 12 m (old visual records to 21 m).

Habitat: pelagic in nearshore and offshore waters.

Depth: 0-240 m.

This species is distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas, including throughout the eastern Pacific.

  WoRMS FishBase Search OBIS Search
ITIS Catalog of Fishes Encyclopedia of Life

Questions or comments

Email STRI data manager

Print Friendly Version

© Copyright 2008 to 2015 - Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Programmed by Coeus Knowledge Systems Pty Ltd