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Carcharhinus limbatus (Blacktip shark)

(Valenciennes, in Müller & Henle, 1839)

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

Carcharhinus limbatus (Blacktip shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ©]


A stout grey shark with a long narrow pointed snout, high 1st dorsal fin, narrow-cusped erect upper teeth, long gill slits, no interdorsal ridge, and often abruptly black fin tips. White on underside, adults may lack black tips.


To 2.6 m TL.


East and southwest coast, Cape Point to Mozambique; circumtropical.




Close inshore in shallow bays and estuaries, down to about 30 m.


Common off Natal but ranging to the Cape coast in summer. Bears 1 to 10 young. Feeds mostly on pelagic and demersal bony fish including Spanish mackerel, grunters, sea bream, kob, ladyfish, and sole, also small sharks and rays, cuttlefish, and rock lobsters.

Human Impact

Sometimes harasses spearfishing divers and steals their catches. It is commonly caught by anglers in Natal, and in the shark nets.

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