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the web of life in southern Africa

Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (Gray reef shark)

(Bleeker, 1856)

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

Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (Gray reef shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A moderate-sized stout grey shark with a moderately long, broadly rounded snout, round eyes, narrow-cusped teeth, no interdorsal ridge, white tip on 1st dorsal fin, black tips on 2nd dorsal and anal fin, and a conspicuous broad black band on rear edge of caudal fin.


To 1.7 m TL.


East coast, northern Natal and Mozambique; western Indian Ocean and Red Sea.



Coastal, from close inshore to 140 m, often on coral reefs.


Bears 1 to 4 young. Feeds on small fish, squid and octopi.

Human Impact

Harasses divers with speared fish. Caught by shore and skiboat anglers.

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