Blacktip Reef Shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)


Other Names: Black Tip Shark, Black-tip Reef Shark, Blacktip Shark, Black-tip Shark, Guliman

A Blacktip Reef Shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus, in Palau. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr: pacificklaus. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

Summary:

A small reef shark commonly found in shallow inshore waters where it is frequently encountered by humans. Although not usually dangerous, Blacktip Reef Sharks may attack the legs or feet of people wading in shallow water, especially if cornered.

Differs from other sharks with black fin tips in having a white margin around the black areas. this is especially on the first dorsal fin. Body yellowish-brown, whitish below with a dark stripe fro below the first dorsal fin to above the pelvic fin.

Video of Blacktips Reef Sharks mating in the Raja Ampat Islands.

Blacktip Reef Sharks feeding at Mirihi in the Maldives

Lots of Juvenile Blacktip Reef Sharks at Aow Leuk, Koh Tao, Thailand

Blacktip Reef Sharks at Bora Bora, French Polynesia



Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Carcharhinus melanopterus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1952

Blacktip Reef Shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from Shark Bay, Western Australia, to Moreton Bay, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
The Blacktip Reef Shark is one of the most abundant reef-associated sharks on many shallow reefs of the Indo-Pacific.

Feeding

Carnivore - typically feeds on small fishes, molluscs and crustaceans (Frisch et al. 2016).

Fisheries

Although taken regularly in some areas, the Black Tip Reef Shark is not targeted in major fisheries and is of little commercial importance. 

Conservation

IUCN Red List : Near Threatened

Species Citation

Carcharias melanopterus Quoy & Gaimard, 1824, Voyage Uranie Physicienne: 194, pl. 43, figs 1-2. Type locality: Pulau Waigeo, Papua Barat, Indonesia (as Vaigiou).

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Blacktip Reef Shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

References


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. 292 p.

Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research, Perth Australia.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. 201 p.

Blaber, S.J.M., Dichmont, C.M., White, W., Buckworth, R., Sadiyah, L., Iskandar, B., Nurhakim, S., Pillans, R., Andamari, R., & Dharmadi, F. 2009. Elasmobranchs in southern Indonesian fisheries: the fisheries, the status of the stocks and management options. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 19: 367–391.

Chin, A., C. Simpfendorfer, A. Tobin & M. Heupel. 2013. Validated age, growth and reproductive biology of Carcharhinus melanopterus, a widely distributed and exploited reef shark. Marine and Freshwater Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13017 Abstract 

Chin, A., Tobin, A.J., Heupel, M.R. & Simpfendorfer, C.A. 2013. Population structure and residency patterns of the blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus in turbid coastal environments. Journal of Fish Biology 82, 1192–1210.

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(2) 251-655 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V. & Niem, V.H. 1998. Family Carcharhinidae. pp. 1312-1360 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 2 687-1396 pp.

Frisch AJ, Ireland M, Rizzari JR, Lönnstedt OM, Magnenat KA, Mirbach CE, Hobbs J-PA (2016) Reassessing the trophic role of reef sharks as apex predators on coral reefs. Coral Reefs 35(2): 459–472. DOI:10.1007/s00338-016-1415-2 Abstract

Garrick, J.A.F. 1982. Sharks of the genus Carcharhinus. National Marine Fisheries Service (U.S.) Technical Report 445: 1-194 figs 1-83.

Haine, O.S., P.V. Ridd & R.J. Rowe. 2001. Range of electrosensory detection of prey by Carcharhinus melanopterus and Himantura granulata. Marine and Freshwater Research 52(3): 291–296. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF00036 Abstract

Heupel, M. 2009. Carcharhinus melanopterus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 14 July 2012.

Heupel, M.R. 2005. Species status reports: blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus. In: Sharks, Rays and Chimaeras: the Status of Chondrichthyan Fishes. Status Survey. (Eds S.L. Fowler, R.D. Cavanagh, M. Camhi, G.H. Burgess, G.M. Cailliet, S.V. Fordham, C.A. Simpfendorfer & J.A. Musick.) pp. 296–297. (IUCN: Gland, Switzerland.)

Haine, O.S., P.V. Ridd & R.J. Rowe. 2001.. Range of electrosensory detection of prey by Carcharhinus melanopterus and Himantura granulata. Marine and Freshwater Research 52(3): 291–296.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of  Australia. New Holland Press. 

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Lyle, J.M. 1987. Observations on the biology of Carcharhinus cautus (Whitley), Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy and Gaimard) and Carcharhinus fitzroyensis (Whitley) from northern Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38: 701–710.

Melouk, M.A. 1957. On the development of Carcharhinus melanopterus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824). Publications of the Marine Biological Station at Ghardaqa.

Mourier, J., Mills, S.C. & Planes, S. 2013. Population structure, spatial distribution and life-history traits of blacktip reef sharks Carcharhinus melanopterus. Journal of Fish Biology 82: 979–993.

Papastamatiou, Y.P., Caselle, J.E., Friedlander, A.M. & Lowe, C.G. 2009. Distribution, size frequency, and sex ratios of blacktip reef sharks Carcharhinus melanopterus at Palmyra Atoll: a predator-dominated ecosystem. Journal of Fish Biology 75: 647–654.

Porcher, I.F. 2005. On the gestation period of the blackfin reef shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus, in waters off Moorea, French Polynesia. Marine Biology 146: 1207–1211.

Quoy, J.R.C. & Gaimard, J.P. 1824. Chapter 8. Poissons. 183-328 pls 43-65 in Freycinet, L.C.D. de (ed.). Voyage autour du Monde, entrepris par ordre du Roi, exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris : Pillet Aîné Vol. 1 712 pp. 96 pls.

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Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E. & Helfman, G.S. 1973. Attacks on humans by the blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus). California Wild (formerly known as Pacific Science) 27(3): 226-238.

Taylor, L. & Wisner, M. 1989. Growth rates of captive blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus). Bulletin De L'Institut Oceanographique, Monaco special 5: 211-217.

Tester, A.L. & S. Kato. 1966. Visual target discrimination in blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and grey sharks (C. menisorrah). Pacific Science 20 (4): 461–471.

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Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37018036

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Danger:Possibly dangerous if cornered

Depth:0-75 m (usually above 40 m)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:1.8 m; 12.6 kg

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map