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Species: Carcharhinus limbatus, Blacktip Shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body stout
snout long, pointed
small eyes
D1: high, curved tip, origin ~ over rear pectoral insertion
flank: white stripe
black tips: all fins except A & top tip C
A white

Carcharhinus limbatus (Müller & Henle, 1839)

Blacktip Shark

Body fusiform, relatively 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, pointed tip, its origin over/just behind rear insertion of pectoral fin; 2nd dorsal fin with length of free rear tip equal to height of that fin; origin of second dorsal about over anal fin origin; pectorals moderately large, curved; 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 stripe of white to pale grey along midside extending into white of upper abdomen; usually black tips to all fins except usually white anal fin and usually the upper lobe of tail fin.

Reported to reach 255 cm; size at birth 38-72 cm.

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

Depth: 0-140 m.

Circumtropical distribution; NE United States to southern Brazil.

Note: The West Atlantic population is genetically distinct from the remaining East Atlantic and Indo-Pacific populations.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Corals
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
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
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • 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
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 255
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 140