Blacktip sharkCarcharhinus limbatus

  • Fringing Reef
  • Elasmobranch
  • Shark
  • Near threatened species


Carcharhinus limbatus belonging to the order of Carcharhiniformes and family of Carcharhinidae (Requiem sharks), is commonly known as the Blacktip shark.

The overall body colour of this species ranges from dark grey to blue grey. Its belly is white or yellowish with a dark band on each side that extends to above the pelvic fin. There is a prominent black spot on the tips of the pelvic fins and black dusky tips on the dorsal, pectoral and lower lobe of the caudal fin. These colour markings may fade as the shark grows. It has a long, narrow and pointed snout. The first dorsal fin is high. Individuals range between 30 to 100 kg and can live up to 12 years old.

Habitat and ecology

This species is globally present in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate waters. Its depth range is between 0 – 64 meters. It often visits inshore areas, bays, estuaries and river-mouths where it has nursery grounds. It is mostly found around continental areas but can be found around some islands too. The Blacktip tiger shark can be found in loose groups.

Its diet consists of bony fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, discarded bycatch and at times smaller elasmobranchs.

Reproduction occurs about every two years as the females take a year in between pregnancies. About four to eleven pups are born after an eleven to twelve-month gestation period. Larger individuals have been noted to have larger offspring. Distinct pairs are formed during courtship.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorized as ‘Near Threatened’. It is regularly collected or trapped as by-catch alongside other species. There are evidences of population declines and increasing demands for fins may lead to extinction of this species. No conservation measures are in place for this species but there are management plans in certain regions.

Did you know?

The Black Tip Shark has the habit of rotating three times when it leaps out of the water before falling back into the sea.

This species has a maximum recorded length of 275 cm.