Creek Whaler

About the Creek Whaler

Commonly known as the Creek Whaler, is a common species of requiem sharks, and part of the family Carcharhinidae, endemic to northern Australia.

Biology and Description:

The body of the Creek Whaler is spindle-shaped and rather stocky. The snout is long and has a narrow shape with large nostrils preceded by small, nipple-shaped flaps of skin. The arched mouth has very short furrows at the corners. There are 30 upper and 28-30 lower tooth rows. The five pairs of gill slits are short.

The pectoral fins are distinctively large and triangular with rounded tips. The first dorsal fin originates over the rear of the pectoral fin, and the second dorsal fin is originated slightly over or behind the anal fin. The skin is densely covered by overlapping dermal denticles, each bearing three or five horizontal ridges leading to marginal teeth. This species is bronze to brownish grey colour above and pale below. Males reach maturity at about 83 – 88 cm TL and females at about 90 – 100 cm TL. This species attains a maximum size of 135 cm TL. Its reproductive mode is viviparous, placental. Females give birth to 1 – 7 pups every year between February and May, the size at birth is about 50 cm TL. The Creek Whaler feeds predominantly on small teleost fishes, including threadfin breams and lizardfishes, crustaceans and cephalopods.


This species is endemic to northern Australia, between Gladstone in central Queensland and Cape Cuvier in Western Australia. It is a common species with a broad distribution across tropical seas, that inhabits estuaries and inshore waters from the intertidal zone to a depth of at least 40 m.


Small numbers of this species are caught in northern inshore gill-net fisheries. Juveniles that embayments as nursery areas are at potential risk of gill netting. There are no current conservation measures required at present.


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Scientific NameCarcharhinus fitzroyensis
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNData Deficient
Common Length135.0 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range0-40 m
DistributionSouthwest Pacific