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Species: Carcharhinus limbatus, Blacktip shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout long, pointed
D1: curved tip, origin ~over/slightly behind pecto
D2 origin over A origin
top & bottom teeth ~symmetrical, narrow, serrated
gill slits not long, 3rd slit 3.8-4.9% TL
black tips: all fins except A (white) & top tip C
flank: obvious silver stripe

Carcharhinus limbatus (Muller & Henle, 1839)

Blacktip shark

Body fusiform, relatively slender to stout; snout moderately long ( = mouth width) and narrowly pointed; eye round, small; nasal flaps low and broadly triangular; lip furrows short; upper and lower front teeth nearly symmetrical and similar, points narrow, straight, finely serrated; gill slits not long, 3rd slit 3.8-4.9% TL; first dorsal fin moderately high (8.2-13.8% of TL), broad, with a curved tip, its origin over ~center of inner margin of pectoral fin, tip pointed; 2nd dorsal fin with length of free rear tip equal to height of that fin; origin of second dorsal about over anal fin origin; no ridge on back between dorsal fins; 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.

Grey brown dorsally, shading to white ventrally; a silvery white stripe along midside extending into white of upper abdomen; black tips to all fins except anal fin (white) and top  lobe of tail fin.

Reported to reach 255 cm.

Habitat: Inshore to offshore pelagic, although not oceanic, in estuaries, shallow muddy bays, saline mangrove swamps.

Depth: 0-64 m.

Circumtropical distribution; NE United States to southern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Surface
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
  • Mangrove
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Water column
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Corals
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Estuary
  • Mud
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max (m)
  • 64
Depth Range Min (m)
  • 0
Length Max (cm)
  • 255