Alopias vulpinus (Thresher shark)
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Alopias vulpinus (Thresher shark) [Illustration
by Ann Hecht ©]
A thresher with relatively small eyes, curved,
narrow-tipped pectoral fins, a narrow-tipped caudal fin, and a
conspicuous white patch over the pectoral fin bases. Colour brown to
blue or green above, white below.
To 6.1 m TL.
Almost entire coast from Namibia to Natal; all temperate and tropical seas
Oceanic and coastal, young often close inshore
and in shallow bays, ranges from surface to 366 m.
strong-swimming, active shark, sometimes jumping out of the water.
Bears 2 to 4 young. Feeds on small schooling bony fish, squid,
octopi, pelagic crustaceans, and occasional seabirds.
Often caught by sports anglers in the western Cape but seldom
Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert
and Malcolm J. Smale