Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Carcharhinus porosus, Atlantic Smalltail Shark, Smalltail Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout long, pointed
eyes large
D1 low, triangular, origin over rear pectoral tip
D2: orgin over mid A base
pectoral small
A deeply notched

Carcharhinus porosus (Ranzani, 1839)

Smalltail Shark, Atlantic Smalltail Shark

A slender, fusiform shark; snout long and pointed (length 1.2-1.8 in distance between nostrils); eyes round, large; a series of conspicuous pores behind eye; nostrils with narrow-based pointed flap; top lip fold short; top teeth with narrow triangular, notched (both sides) and serrated points, straight in center, oblique at sides, lower teeth with narrow, straight points at front, oblique at rear; no ridge between dorsal fins; first dorsal fin broadly triangular, low, with bluntly pointed tip, origin over/behind rear tip of pectoral fins; origin of second dorsal fin over or slightly behind middle of anal fin; pectoral fins small, slightly curved with narrowly rounded to pointed tips; anal fin with deeply notched rear edge; tail base without keel; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, with well developed lower lobe, undulating ridge along dorsal surface of top lobe, and a notch under tip of that lobe.

Generally grey on back and sides, white on lower parts; fins are unmarked.

Grows to 137 cm.

Habitat: an inshore shark over mud bottoms, often into shallow estuaries.

Depth: 0-36 m.

W Atlantic: from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Brazil.

Note: The Pacific smalltail shark, C. cerdale (Gilbert, 1989), is distinct from C. porosus.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 137
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 36