Bronze Whaler, Carcharhinus brachyurus (Günther 1870)


Other Names: Black-tipped Whaler, Bronze Whaler Shark, Bronzie, Cocktail, Cocktail Shark, Copper Shark, Narrowtooth Shark, New Zealand Whaler

A Bronze Whaler, Carcharhinus brachyurus . Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

Summary:

A bronze to greyish-brown whaler shark grading to pale below, with an indistinct pale stripe anteriorly on the lower side  from the pelvic fin, and sometimes darker fin tips. Bronze whalers have large first dorsal and pectoral fins, and a large upper caudal-fin lobe.

The species is similar to the Galapagos Shark, Carcharhinus galapagensis, which has a more slender body and a very erect first dorsal fin. 

This large coastal shark occurs in coastal and continental shelf waters of southern Australia. While not usually aggressive, they are potentially dangerous to humans.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Carcharhinus brachyurus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Dec 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2883

Bronze Whaler, Carcharhinus brachyurus (Günther 1870)

More Info


Distribution

Known in Australian waters from Moreton Bay, Queensland, southwards and across to Geraldton, Western Australia. Observational records indicate that the Bronze Whaler may be much more widely-distributed, especially off Queensland and Western Australia. Elsewhere, found worldwide in warm temperate and subtropical coastal and continental shelf waters; absent from the eastern Pacific, and rare or absent in the tropics.

Bronze whalers frequently occur in shallow coastal waters, including bays, harbours and along surf beaches, especially during summer months. Individuals may also enter estuaries and large rivers. In Australia and New Zealand, they form loose aggregations in shallow inshore waters during spring and summer. 

The Bronze Whaler is most abundant in Australia between Bass Strait and Albany in the west, and is the most common species of Carcharhinus in South Australian and Victorian waters.

Features

Vertebrae: 179-203 (precaudal 96-110)
Jaw teeth (upper): 15 or 16-2 or 3-15 or 16
Jaw teeth (lower): 15-1-15

Snout moderately long (length to mouth 5-10% TL), pointed; upper teeth of adult males longer and more hooked near tips than in females; first dorsal-fin origin over or just anterior to free rear tip of pectoral fin, both sets of fins tapering distally, apices pointed or narrowly rounded; interdorsal ridge usually absent.

Size

295 cm TL

Colour

Bronze to greyish brown above, pale below, with an indistinct band anteriorly on sides from pelvic fin to above pectoral fin; fin margins and fin tips sometimes darker.

Feeding

Feeds on a wide range of bottom-dwelling and pelagic fishes and cephalopods; also known to eat jellyfishes and crustaceans.

Biology

Bronze Whalers are viviparous, with a yolk sac placenta.Females give birth to litters of 7-20 pups, born at 60-70 cmTL after about a 12 month gestation period. Males mature at about 2.35 m TL, and females at 2.45 m TL.

Fisheries

Often taken as bycatch in gill net, longline and trawl fisheries. They are taken in the shark fishery in Western Australia.

Conservation

Bronze whalers are vulnerable to over fishing by targeted fisheries and as bycatch. They are also taken in shark-control nets set to protect swimmers at beaches.

Remarks


Similar Species

Similar to the more slender Galapagos Shark, which has a very erect first dorsal fin. 

Species Citation

Carcharias brachyurus Günther, 1870, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus. 8: 369. Type locality: Wanganui, New Zealand.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2017

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Bronze Whaler, Carcharhinus brachyurus (Günther 1870)

References


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Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37018001

Biology:Live bearer

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern (AUS & NZ)

Danger:Potentially dangerous to humans

Depth:0-100 m

Max Size:295 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map