Spot-tail Shark

About the Spot-tail Shark

The Carcharhinus Sorrah shark, also known as the Spot-tail Shark, is a species of requiem shark, belongs to the family Carcharhinidae and is found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific ocean.

Biology and Description:

The Spot-tail shark is a small, spindle-shaped shark with a long, rounded snout, large circular eyes, and oblique-cusped serrated teeth. The first dorsal fin is large and curved while the second dorsal fin is small and low. The back and sides are grey and the belly white, and there is a long white streak on the flank. The upper teeth are serrated, oblique and triangular. It lacks the ridge between the two dorsal fins and its upper are also different, being slender, upright and pointed.

This species is viviparous with a yolk sac placenta, giving birth once a year to a litter of one to eight live young. The gestation period is ten months and the pups measure about 50 cm at birth. Males reach maturity at 90 cm TL and females at 95 cm TL.


The Spot-tail shark is a common inshore shark on continental and insular shelves found from close inshore to a depth of at least 140 m. Common over mud and sand bottom in depths between 20-50 m but also occurs near coral reefs. It also occurs throughout the water column but mainly in midwater or near the surface. Young prefer very shallow, inshore waters. Its range extends from the East African coast, Madagascar and the Red Sea to India, Malaysia, China, the Philippines and northern Australia.


The Spot-tail shark is captured as both a target species and as bycatch in northern Australian shark, finfish and prawn fisheries, although current catch rates are highly unlikely to threaten the Australian population. There are currently no conservation actions in place through much of its range. Fisheries catching this species in northern Australia are relatively well managed and reporting of catches is good.

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Scientific NameCarcharhinus Sorrah
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
CitesNot Listed
IUCNData Deficient
SpeciesCarcharhinus Sorrah
Common Length160 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range0 - 140 m
DistributionWestern Indian Ocean