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the web of life in southern Africa

Carcharhinus sorrah (Spottail 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 sorrah (Spottail shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ©]


A small, spindle-shaped grey shark with a long rounded snout, large circular eyes, oblique-cusped serrated teeth, an interdorsal ridge, a very low, elongated 2nd dorsal fin, black tips on the pectoral and 2nd dorsal fins, and a conspicuous black spot on the lower caudal lobe. White below, 1st dorsal fin with a black edge.


To 1.6 m.


East coast, Natal and Mozambique; Indian Ocean and west-central Pacific.



Inshore and coastal, often around coral reefs, down to about 73 m.


Rare south of Mozambique. Bears 3 to 6 young. Eats bony fishes and octopi. Human Impact Occasionally taken by linefishermen.

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