Blacktip Tope

About the Blacktip Tope

The blacktip tope, or pencil shark, is a species of houndshark found in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. It has been recorded from the east coast of Africa to Japan and Australia. It lives in deep waters at a depth range of 40 to 230 m. They live on the continental shelf and eat small fish and cephalopods.

These sharks give birth to live young, with large litters of about 10 pups. Fetuses are born after a 15 month gestation period at about 35 cm of length. They become sexually mature when they’re 95 cm long, and reach a maximum length of 127 cm.

They’re utilized for food throughout their range. Their population is stable in Australia, which is a considerable part of their range, so they’re considered Least Concern. Numbers outside of Australia are hard to find and populations need to better monitored.

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Scientific Name Hypogaleus hyugaensis
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNLeast Concern
Litter Size 10
Common Length 127 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range 40 - 230 m
DistributionEastern Indian Ocean, Western Indian Ocean, Northwest Pacific, Western Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific