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Author: (Poey, 1876)

Field Marks:
A large reef-living grey shark with short, bluntly rounded snout, narrow and semierect to oblique-cusped, serrated upper anterolateral teeth without cusplets, lower teeth with erect serrated cusps, usually 13/12 rows of anterolateral teeth, an interdorsal ridge, large narrow pectoral fins, a small first dorsal with a short rear tip and a moderately large second dorsal with a short rear tip, and no prominent markings on fins.

Diagnostic Features:
A fairly stocky species (up to nearly 3 m). Snout moderately short and broadly rounded; internarial width 1 to 1.1 times in preoral length; eyes circular and moderately large, their length 1.2 to 2.5% of total length; anterior nasal flaps low and poorly developed; upper labial furrows short and inconspicuous; hyomandibular line of pores just behind mouth corners not conspicuously enlarged; gill slits moderately long, the third 2.8 to 4% of total length and less than half of first dorsal base: usualiy 13/12 rows of anteroposterior teeth in each jaw half but varying from 12 to 13/11 to 12; upper teeth with narrow, strongly serrated, semierect to oblique, high cusps, and crown feet with slightly coarser serrations but no cusplets; lower teeth with erect, narrow finely serrated cusps and transverse or weakly arched roots. A low interdorsal ridge present. First dorsal fin moderately large and falcate, with a pointed or narrowly rounded apex and posterior margin curving ventrally or anteroventroposteriorly from fin apex; origin of first dorsal fin over or slightly anterior to pectoral free rear tips; inner margin of first dorsal moderately long, about a third of dorsal base; second dorsal fin fairly large and high, its height2.9 to 3.2% of total length, its inner margin short and 1.1 to 1.5 times its height; origin of second dorsal over or slightly anterior to anal origin; pectoral fins moderately large, falcate, with narrowly rounded or pointed apices, length of anterior margins about 20 to 22% of total length; 208 to 213 total vertebral centra, 103 to 108 precaudal centra. Colour dark grey or grey-brown above, white below, undersides of paired fins, anal and ventral caudallobe dusky but fins not prominently marked; white band not conspicuous on flanks.

Geographical Distribution:
Western Atlantic:
Florida, Bermuda, northern Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea including Yucatan, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and southern Brazil.

Habitat and Biology:
This is the commonest shark associated with coral reefs in the Caribbean, a tropical inshore bottom-dwelling species of the continental and insular shelves, at depths down to at least 30 m. It is often found near dropoffs on the outer edges of reefs. It is capable of lying on the bottom motionless, with its pharynx and gills evidently capable of pumping adequate water for respiration, and has been found lying in caves. Despite its abundance, it is poorly known.

Eats bony fishes, including bigeyes (Priacanthidae). A dangerous shark, being definitely implicated in an abortive attack on a pair of divers in the Caribbean.

Size:
Maximum about 295 cm, maturity at about 152 to 168 cm, adult females 200 to 295 cm; size at birth below 73 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
A common Caribbean shark primarily fished with longlines and utilized dried salted for human consumption; hides are used for leather, oil from its liver, and fishmeal from carcasses.

Type material:
Holotype: Six original specimens,from 780 to 1300 mm and ca 2 m, extant? Type Locality: Cuba.

Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi)