Speartooth Shark, Glyphis glyphis (Müller & Henle 1839)

Other Names: Bizant River Shark, Speartooth Shark

Speartooth Shark, Glyphis glyphis. Source: Richard Pillans / CSIRO. License: All rights reserved


A rare greyish whaler shark with the line between the white and grey body coloration running along the lower edge of the eye, and a black blotch on the underside of pectoral-fin tip.

Video of Speartooth Sharks collected by the team at Cairns Marine under a special permit, for a strategic captive breeding program at the Melbourne Aquarium. 

Video of Speartooth Sharks in the Melbourne Aquarium. These sharks were collected under special permit by Cairns Marine for a captive breeding program at the Aquarium.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Glyphis glyphis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/2734

Speartooth Shark, Glyphis glyphis (Müller & Henle 1839)

More Info


Adelaide and Alligator Rivers, NT, and Wenlock and Bizant River, QLD, and probably others rivers of Gulf of Carpentaria and eastern Queensland. The species also occurs in the Western Province, Papua New Guinea, and elsewhere in the tropical, west Pacific.


First dorsal fin broad, triangular; second dorsal fin relatively large, about three-quarters the height of the first dorsal fin, about equal to anal fin; snout short, broadly rounded; upper jaw teeth broadly triangular, erect and serrated, with no cusps. 


Carnivore - feeds on bony fishes and crustaceans.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Critically Endangered
  • IUCN Red List : Endangered
  • Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 : Vulnerable
  • Protected throughout Queensland
  • Similar Species

    Although Speartooth Sharks appear similar to the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, they differ in having a more triangular-shaped first dorsal fin, a taller second dorsal fin (about 2/3 the height of the first dorsal fin), a small eye situated within the grey-colored part of the head, not in the lower whte part, and triangular upper jaw teeth without cusps, but with “shoulders”. The Bull Shark is also a yellowish-grey, whereas the Speartooth Shark is steely grey in colour.


    Bray, D.J. 2017

    Speartooth Shark, Glyphis glyphis (Müller & Henle 1839)


    • Agassiz, J.L.R. 1843. Recherches Berra, T.M. 2010. Clarification of field characters for three freshwater sharks and a photographic atlas of Glyphis glyphis and G. garricki from Adelaide River, Northern Territory, Australia. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 26: 109–114.
    • Chen X, Liu M, Grewe PM, Kyne PM, Feutry P (2014) Complete mitochondrial genome of the critically endangered Speartooth Shark Glyphis glyphis (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae). Mitochondrial DNA. 25 (6): 431-432. 10.3109/19401736.2013.809443.
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    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37018041

    Conservation:IUCN Endangered; EPBC Critically Endangered

    Depth:0-10 m

    Habitat:Inshore - marine, estuarine, freshwater

    Max Size:300 cm TL

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