Carcharhinus melanopterus (Blacktip reef shark)


Brownish gray with white underside, black tip on the 1st dorsal fin, 2nd dorsal fin, pectoral fin, anal fin and lower lobe of the tail fin. The blacktip reef shark is also a requiem shark.


Near threatend since 2009. The Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) is a common and wide-ranging species, regularly caught by inshore fisheries. Globally, populations are not considered to be in immediate danger of significant depletion. However, this species is currently fished, and due to small litter sizes and long gestation periods, is vulnerable to depletion.


Indo-Pacific; Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and the Tuamoto Archipelago. North to Japan and south to Australia. Apparently rare or absent in the more easterly groups. Also eastern Mediterranean (through the Suez Canal). Inhabits shallow water close inshore on coral reefs and in the intertidal zone (reef flats), near reef drop-offs and close offshore. Also found in mangrove areas, moving in and out with the tide and even in fresh water, but not in tropical lakes and rivers far from the sea. It usually lives in a depth range of 20-75 meters, juveniles may appear in shallower water.


Viviparous, giving birth to live young. Only 2 to 4 young of 46 to 52 cm are born per litter.


Up to 180cm.

Prey / Predation

They feed on fish mostly, but also feed on crustaceans, cephalopods and other mollusks.

Special features

Blacktip reef sharks are common in coastal waters, where humans fish commercially. They are also hunted for a source of liver oil, shark fins as well as for public aquaria.