spottail shark

This shark hugs the seabed during the day

The Spottail shark (Carcharhinus sorrah), is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean. During the day the Spottail sharks stays close to the seabed, and ventures closer to the surface at night.

Family: Carcharhinidae – Requiem sharks

Genus: Carcharhinus

Species: sorrah


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Carcharhinidae

Common NameRequiem Sharks

Genus Carcharhinus



Average Size and Length: The Spottail shark grows to about 5.3 feet.

Average Weight: The average weight of the Spottail shark is 34 pounds.

Teeth and Jaw: The upper teeth are serrated, oblique and triangular.

Head: The Spottail shark has a long, pointed snout with large eyes.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Spottail shark is found in the tropical Indo-Pacific on continental and insular shelves to a depth of about 240 feet but sometimes as deep as 460 feet. Its range extends from the East African coast, Madagascar and the Red Sea to India, Malaysia, China, the Philippines and northern Australia. During the day, the Spottail shark spends its time near the seabed, and at night more towards the surface mostly around coral reefs.

Diet: The Spottail shark eats bony fish like bonito and sea bass, cephalopods and crustaceans.

Aesthetic Identification: The Spottail shark is long and spindle shaped.It is grey on top, and counter-shaded white on the belly. There is a long white streak on the flank.  The first dorsal fin is large and curved while the second dorsal fin is small and low

This Spottail shark can be distinguished from other requiem sharks found in tropical waters by the distinctive black tips to the second dorsal fin, the pectoral fins and the lower lobe of the caudal fin. There is a ridge over the spine extending from the first to the second dorsal fin and a pit just in front of the upper lobe of the caudal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: The Spottail shark is viviparous. They give birth one time a year to a litter of between 1 and 8 pups. The gestation period is 10 months and the pups measure about 20 inches at birth. Females reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years and live for a maximum of 7 years while males live up to 5 years.

The pups develop in shallow inshore water nurseries.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Not much is known. There is a lot of room for research.

Spottail Shark Future and Conservation: The Spottail shark is caught by line and gillnet by small scale commercial fisheries. The flesh is used for food, the liver for vitamins, the fins for shark fin soup and the offal for fish meal.

Spottail Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: The Spottail shark is not a danger or threat to humans.