Common Blacktip Shark, Carcharhinus limbatus (Müller & Henle 1839)

Other Names: Blacktip Shark, Blacktip Whaler

A Common Blacktip Shark, Carcharhinus limbatus, at Walkers Cay, Bahamas. Source: Albert Kok / Wikimedia Commons. License: Public Domain

A dark-grey, bluish-grey or dusky-bronze shark with a white to yellowish-white belly, a dark band along each side to above the pelvic-fin origin, a distinct persistent black spot on the pelvic-fin tips, and black or dusky tips on the dorsal, pectoral, anal and lower lobe of caudal fins that fades with growth.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Carcharhinus limbatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2024,

Common Blacktip Shark, Carcharhinus limbatus (Müller & Henle 1839)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Cape Leeuwin, WA, to Bermagui, NSW. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical waters worldwide. Inhabits inshore waters off beaches, in bays, estuaries, over coral reefs and off river mouths; with with inshore pupping and nursery grounds.


Feeds mostly on pelagic and benthic fishes, and also preys on small sharks and rays, cephalopods and crustaceans. 


Frequently taken in commercial and recreational fisheries. The flesh is well-regarded and the fins are highly marketable.


Common blacktip sharks inhabit inshore waters, making them highly vulnerable to capture in commercial and recreational fisheries.

Species Citation

Carcharias (Prionodon) limbatus Müller & Henle, 1839, Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen: 49, pl. 19. Type locality: Martinique Island, West Indies.


Bray, D.J. 2022

Common Blacktip Shark, Carcharhinus limbatus (Müller & Henle 1839)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37018039

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Danger:Potentially dangerous if provoked

Depth:0-64 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:275 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map