This rare shark has falcate white edged fins

The Whitefin topeshark (Hemitriakis leucoperiptera) is a shark belonging to the family Triakidae, found only in the tropical waters of the Philippines. They inhabit the coastal areas. A pregnant female was found at a total length of 96 cm/3.1 feet. Adolescent specimens have dark areas on their caudal fins. We do know they give birth to live young. This shark is endangered, and the latest 2 specimens were discovered within the last several years, and the holotype discovered over 50 years ago. More research is needed.


Family: Triakidae – Houndsharks

Genus: Hemitriakis

Species: leucoperiptera


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Triakidae

Common NameHoundsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born between 20-22 cm/7.8-8.6 inches. A pregnant female was measured at 96 cm/3.1 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is broadly arched. The teeth are small and blade-like. The main cusp is angled with inner serrations.

Head: The snout is moderately long and parabolic. It doesn’t have a dark stripe below. The eyes are moderately long and dorsal-lateral with prominent sub-ocular ridges. The nostrils have short anterior nasal flaps.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Whitefin topeshark can be found in the Philippines in coastal waters to 157 feet (20° N and 5° N). They are considered tropical demersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Whitefin topeshark has fins that are strongly falcate with conspicuous white edges. The first dorsal fin origin is slightly over the pectoral inner margins. The second dorsal fin is smaller. The anal fin is much smaller than the first dorsal fin. Adolescent specimens have dark areas on their caudal fins.

Biology and Reproduction: Because a pregnant female was found, we know that they bear live young with an average of 12 pups per litter, therefore assumed ovoviviparous, but not much else is known.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Whitefin Topeshark Future and Conservation: They are currently endangered. They are just recently known from two specimens in the last three years. The first few specimens were collected over 50 years ago.

Whitefin Topeshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.