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the web of life in southern Africa

Alopias pelagicus (Smalltooth thresher)

Nakamura, 1935

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >.Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Galeomorphii > Lamniformes > Alopiidae

Alopias pelagicus (Smalltooth thresher) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A thresher with moderately large eyes, broadly convex forehead, very narrow caudal tip, and straight, broad-tipped pectoral fins. Colour brilliant dark blue on back and sides (fading to grey-black after death), underside white, no white patch over bases of pectoral fins

Size

 To 3.3 m TL.

Range

East coast off Natal; tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans.

 

Habitat

Oceanic but sometimes close inshore, occurs at the surface down to 152 m. Biology An active, strong-swimming shark. Bears at least 2 young. Probably feeds on small bony fish and squid.

Human Impact

Occasionally taken by skiboat anglers and anti-shark nets but seldom used.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale