Carcharhinus leucas

(Valenciennes in Müller & Henle, 1839)

Bull shark
Classification: Elasmobranchii Carcharhiniformes Carcharhinidae

Reference of the original description
Müller, J. & Henle, F.G.J. (1841)
Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen. Berlin, Veit, pp. 1–200

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Images of the original description (synonym)
Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Carcharhinus aff. leucas, Carcharhinus azureus, Carcharhinus cf. leucas, Carcharhinus leucas leucas, Carcharhinus leucas nicaraguensis, Carcharhinus leucos, Carcharhinus nicaraguensis, Carcharhinus nicaraquensis, Carcharhinus platyodon, Carcharhinus spenceri, Carcharhinus vanrooyeni, Carcharhinus zambezensis, Carcharias azureus, Carcharias leucas, Carcharias nicaraguensis, Carcharias platyodon, Carcharias spenceri, Carcharias zambezensis, Carcharias (Prionodon) leucas, Carcharias (Prionodon) zambezensis, Carcharinus azureus, Carcharinus leucas, Carcharinus platyodon, Carcharinus zambezensis, Eulamia azureus, Eulamia leucas, Eulamia nicaraguensis, Galeolamna bogimba, Galeolamna greyi mckaili , Galeolamna leucas, Galeolamna mckaili, Galeolamna spenceri, Galeolamna (Bogimba) bogimba, Galeolamna (Lamnarius) spenceri, Prionodon platyodon, Squalus obtusus, Squalus platyodon, Squalus (Carcharinus) leucas

Carcharhinus leucas
Syntype: MNHN: uncat. (lost) MNHN: A-9650; MNHN: A-9652;
Carcharhinus vanrooyeni
Syntype: SAIAB: 175
Carcharias azureus
Holotype: SU: 11890 Paratype: BMNH: 1903.5.15.338 Panama;
Carcharias (Prionodon) zambezensis
Holotype: ZMB: 4468
Eulamia nicaraguensis
Holotype: USNM: 16887;
Galeolamna greyi mckaili
Holotype: AMS: IB.508;
Galeolamna (Bogimba) bogimba
Holotype: AMS: IB.1225;
Prionodon platyodon
XXXX: No types known;
Squalus obtusus
XXXX: No types known;

Description :

Citation: Carcharhinus leucas (Valenciennes in Müller & Henle, 1839): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 07/2024

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Carcharhinus leucas (Müller & Henle, 1839), © Andy Murch Elasmodiver
Common names
deu \(T\) Grundhai, deu \(T\) Stierhai, spa Cabeza de batea, spa Cazón, spa Chato, spa Lamia, spa Madrecazón, spa Sarda, spa Tiburon sarda, spa Tiburón, spa Tiburón chato, spa Tiburón gris, spa Tiburón toro, spa Tiburón ñato, spa Toro, spa Xmoa, fra \(T\) Requin bouledogue, fra \(T\) Requin chasseur, fra \(T\) Requin-bouledogue, eng Bull shark, eng Bullshark, eng Cub shark, eng Estuary shark, eng Estuary whaler shark, eng Freshwater whaler, eng Ground shark, eng Hervey Bay whaler shark, eng Requin bouledogue, eng River whaler, eng River whaler shark, eng Shark, eng Swan River whaler, eng Swan river whaler shark, eng Zambezi shark, por Cabeça chata, por Cação, por Cação-fidalgo, por Cação-flamengo, por Marracho touro, por Sicuri-branco, por Tubaráo, por Tubarão-buldogue

Short Description
A massive shark with a short, broad and blunt snout, small eyes and triangular saw-edged upper teeth; and lack of interdorsal ridge are sufficient to distinguish this species [17659]. 1st dorsal fin broad and triangular and less than 3.2 times height of 2nd dorsal fin; no interdorsal ridge [536]. Grayish above, white below [536]; fins with dark tips, especially in young individuals [544].

Widespread in warm oceans, rivers and lakes. Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA to Argentina [5839]. Eastern Atlantic: Morocco, Senegal to Angola. Indo-West Pacific: Kenya and South Africa to India, then, Viet Nam to Australia. Eastern Pacific: southern Baja California, Mexico to Ecuador and possibly occurring in Peru. Sympatric with Carcharhinus amboinensis, Glyphis gangeticus. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums

Viviparpous, with a yolk-sac placenta, 1-13 young in a litter. Size at birth about 60 cm TL [544]. In the western North Atlantic off Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and off South Africa, young are born in late spring or early summer. Off Nicaragua, females may have young throughout the year, with a peak in spring and early summer. Estimated gestation period is 10 to 11 months [517]. Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Females often have courtship scars, but males are rarely seen with fighting scars [517]. Juveniles move upstream and may be found several km from the sea, adults found near estuaries (Ref. 4967).

Size / Weight / Age
350 cm TL (male/unsexed; [20218]); max. published weight: 316.5 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 32 years (Ref. 42004)

reef-associated; amphidromous [17660]; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 152 m [20218], usually 1 - 30 m (Ref. 55183)

shark-references Species-ID=774;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Chloromyxum carcharhini Lisnerova, Martinek, Alama-Bermejo, Bouberlova, Schaeffner, Nkabi, Holzer & Bartosova-Sojkova, 2022 [31228]