Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Alopias vulpinus, Thin tail thresher shark, Thintail thresher

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arched between eyes
eye small
nape: no groove
D1 near pectoral

Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Thin tail thresher shark

Body stout, cylindrical; head short, rounded between eyes; forehead profile convex; no groove on nape; snout short, conical; eyes small, mouth small, ventral; teeth sharply triangular; gill openings - 5, short, last 2 over pectoral base; first dorsal large, nearer pectoral than pelvic; second dorsal and anal very small; pectorals very long, narrow, curved, with pointed tip; pelvics large; tail not lunate, upper lobe extremely long, ~ equal to body length, small lobe at tip of long lobe about 2x length of 2nd dorsal fin base; no keels on tail base.

Back and under snout brown, grey, blue or blackish; belly abruptly white, this color extending onto flank above pectoral fin; pectoral fin tip with white dot.

Size: 575 cm, possibly 635 cm; to 38 years.

Habitat: oceanic, pelagic.

Depth: 0-650 m.

Circumtropical in tropical to cold-temporate waters; Nova Scotia to Uruguay

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore Only
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Water column only
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds
  • Sharks/rays
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species..
  • Also in Brazil
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Listed
  • Appendix II
Length Max
  • 575
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 650