home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Carcharhinus signatus (Night shark)

(Poey, 1868)

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

Carcharhinus signatus (Night shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A slim semi-oceanic grey shark with a very long, pointed snout, small jaws, small pectoral fins, large eyes, oblique-cusped serrated upper teeth, front of 1st dorsal over pectoral fins, 1st and 2nd dorsals low and with elongated rear tips, an interdorsal ridge, and no conspicuous fin markings. Upper surface grey-brown, underside white.


To 2.8 m TL.


West coast off northern Namibia; temperate and tropical Atlantic.



Semi-oceanic in warm water near shelf edge from surface to 600 m.


A nocturnal shark, little-known in the area. Bears 4 to 12 young. Eats mostly bony fishes, including mackerel-like fishes, jacopever, roughies, flyingfish, butterfishes, and sea bass, and squid.

Human Impact

Taken taken by offshore trawlers and possibly longliners.

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