Carcharhinus limbatus

(Valenciennes in Müller & Henle, 1839)

Blacktip 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

Carcharhinus limbatus (Müller & Henle, 1839)

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Carcharhinus aethalorus, Carcharhinus aff. limbatus, Carcharhinus cf. limbatus, Carcharhinus natator, Carcharhinus pleurotaenia, Carcharias aethalorus, Carcharias ehrenbergi, Carcharias limbatus, Carcharias microps, Carcharias natator, Carcharias phorcys, Carcharias pleurotaenia, Carcharias (Prionodon) limbatus, Carcharias (Prionodon) mülleri, Carcharias (Prionodon) pleurotaenia, Carcharinus aethalorus, Carcharinus limbatus, Carcharinus pleurotaenia, Eulamia aethalorus, Eulamia aetholorus, Eulamia limbata, Eulamia limbatus, Eulamia pleurotaenia, Galeolamna pleurotaenia, Isogomphodon limbatus, Squalus (Carcharinus) limbatus

Carcharhinus limbatus
Syntype: MNHN: 3468;
Carcharhinus natator
Holotype: USNM: 79310;
Carcharias aethalorus
Lectotype: USNM: 29549; Paralectotype: USNM: 28202;
Carcharias ehrenbergi
Syntype: SMNS: 12259 (ex 1642 1/2); SMNS: 12137; ZMB: 4472 ZMB: 4470
Carcharias phorcys
Holotype: USNM: 50612; Paratype: BPBM: 1685 (missing) MCZ: 89506 (missing) SU: 12715
Carcharias (Prionodon) mülleri
Holotype: NMW: lost ? not found in 2011;
Carcharias (Prionodon) pleurotaenia
Syntype: BMNH: 1867.11.28.176 RMNH: 7385

Description :

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

Please send your images of "Carcharhinus limbatus" to

Carcharhinus limbatus (Müller & Henle, 1839), in UShaka Sea World, © Amada44
Common names
deu \(T\) Blauhai, deu \(T\) Kleiner Atlantischer Schwarzspitzenhai, spa Balicero, spa Cazón, spa Macuira, spa Puntas negras, spa Puntinegro, spa Tiburon macuira, spa Tiburón, spa Tiburón de aletas negras, spa Tiburón de punta negra, spa Tiburón de puntas negras, spa Tiburón machado, spa Tiburón manchado, spa Tiburón tollo, spa Tiburón volador, spa Tollo, spa Tollo aletinegro, spa Volador, fra \(T\) Mangeur d"hommes, fra \(T\) Requin blanc, fra \(T\) Requin bordé, fra \(T\) Requin demoiselle, fra \(T\) Requin néné pointe, eng Black fin shark, eng Black tip, eng Black tip shark, eng Black-tip shark, eng Black-tipped shark, eng Blackfin shark, eng Blacktip shark, eng Blacktip whaler, eng Common blacktip shark, eng Grey shark, eng Requiem shark, eng Shark, eng Small black tipped shark, eng Small blacktip shark, eng Spot-fin ground shark, ita Squalo orlato, ita Squalo pinne nere, por Cação, por Cação de fundo, por Cação-do-fundo, por Cação-galha-preta, por Cação-peru, por Cação-ponta-petra, por Cação-ponta-preta, por Cação-sicuri, por Corta-garoupa, por Galha-preta, por Machote, por Marracho macuira, por Marracho-de pontas-negras, por Marracho-de-pontas-negras, por Serra-garoupa, por Sicuri, por Sicuri-de-galha-preta, por Sicuri-de-ponta-preta, por Sucuri-da-galha-preta, por Tubarão galha preta, por Tubarão-de-pontas-negras

Short Description
Diagnose after Compagno,1984 [517]: Field Marks : A large fairly stout grey shark with a long pointed snout, small eyes, narrow, mostly erect- and narrow-cusped serrated upper anterolateral teeth without cusplets, long gill slits, lower teeth with narrow, usually serrated cusps, usually 15/14 to 15 rows of anterolateral teeth, no interdorsal ridge, moderately large pectoral fins, a large first dorsal with a short rear tip and a moderately large second dorsal with a short rear tip, and usually black tips on most fins in juveniles to adults. Diagnostic Features: A fairly stocky species (up to about 2.6 m). Snout moderately long and moderately pointed; internarial width 1.3 to 1.7 times in preoral length; eyes circular and moderately large, their length 1.2 to 2.2% of total length; anterior nasal flaps low, triangular, and not elongated; upper labial furrows short and inconspicuous; hyomandibular line of pores just behind mouth corners not conspicuously enlarged; gill slits long, the third 3.8 to 4.9% of total length but less than half of first dorsal base; usually 15/14 to 15 rows of anteroposterior teeth in each jaw half but varying from 14 to 16/13 to 16; upper teeth with narrow, strongly serrated, erect to slightly oblique high cusps, and crown feet with slightly coarser serrations but no cusplets; lower teeth with erect, narrow, serrated high cusps and transverse roots. No interdorsal ridge. First dorsal fin large and falcate, with a pointed or narrowly rounded apex and posterior margin curving ventrally from fin apex; origin of first dorsal fin usually over or slightly posterior to pectoral insertion, but exceptionally near the pectoral free rear tip; inner margin of first dorsal short, about a third of dorsal base; second dorsal fin large and high, its height 2.5 to 3.6% of total length, its inner margin short and 1.1 to 1.6 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 18 to 20% of total length in individuals above 1 m long; 174 to 203 total vertebral centra, 88 to 102 precaudal centra. Colour grey or grey-brown above, white below; black tips usually present on pectorals, second dorsal, and ventral caudal lobe, and sometimes on pelvic and anal fins (anal usually plain), and black edges usually present on first dorsal apex and dorsal caudal lobe; adults in some areas may have plain or virtually plain fins. A conspicuous white band on flanks.

Cosmopolitan. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada to Brazil [20078]. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and Mediterranean. Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, Madagascar and South Africa to China, Australia, Tahiti, Marquesas, and Hawaii. Eastern Pacific: Baja California, Mexico to Peru, including the Galapagos Islands.
First record: 2019: New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea, western Pacific Ocean [27359] Source:

Human uses
fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes

Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta, 1 to 10 young per litter. Gestation period is 10 to 12 months. Nursery and pupping grounds are located inshore where pregnant females go to drop their young. Females are thought to spawn only every two years. Size at birth 38-72 cm [517]; 55-66 cm TL [2539].
Diet: Ecuadorian Pacific [25131]: (data basis: 44 (4 females, 40 males), 25 had empty stomach, TL 132 cm -224 cm); Diet: including 12 identifiable dietary components (10 teleosts, one elasmobranch and one crustacean) and the remains of cephalopods, fishes and batoids. Based on the %IRI, teleosts were the most important group followed by elasmobranchs, crustaceans and cephalopods; the fishes T. albacares (27.34%), Exocoetus monocirrhuns (13.29%), A. thazard (13.18%), Katsuwonus pelamis (12.25%) and members of the Ophichthidae family (6.14%) were the most important to C. limbatus diet. The small sample size for females (N ¼ 4) impeded the trophic analysis based on sex. Considering each sex separately, 12 prey species were consumed by males (10 teleosts, one batoid and one crustacean), of which the most important prey were: T. albacares (%IRI ¼ 18.7%), A. thazard (8.7%), Larimus argenteus (8.1%) and K. pelamis (8%). Of the four females analysed, only two had stomach contents, which included the remains of teleosts (25.1%) and batoids (75% Occurs on the continental shelf (Ref. 75154). Feeds on benthic invertebrates and fish [20056].

Size / Weight / Age
275 cm TL (male/unsexed; [20092]); max. published weight: 122.8 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 12 years [517]
after Bass et al. 1973 [130]: Carcharhinus limbatus. Size distribution of specimens recorded off the Natal coast. Birth is at 60 to 65cm and sexual maturity at both 180cm.




































reef-associated; amphidromous [17660]; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 64 m [17640], usually 0 - 30 m (Ref. 55184)

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Chloromyxum sp. [28169]
  • Kudoa carcharhini Gleeson, Bennett & Adlard, 2010 [21484]

  • Paramonilicaecum sp. [21487]
  • Selachohemecus benzi Bullard, Overstreet & Carlson, 2006 [7400] [19641] [28146]
  • Staphylorchis pacificus (Caballero, 1945) Cutmore, Bennett & Cribb, 2010 [23771]

  • Gnathia dejimagi Ota, 2014 [22155]
  • Gnathia nubila Ota & Hirose, 2009 [22155]
  • Gnathia trimaculata Coetzee, Smit, Grutter & Davies, 2009 [17188] [22155]