Pigeye Shark, Carcharhinus amboinensis (Müller & Henle 1839)

Other Names: Estuary Shark, Java Shark, Pig-eyed Shark

Pigeye Shark, Carcharhinus amboinensis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A large, robust greyish shark with a whitish belly, dusky fin tips, a short, blunt snout, and a tall, erect first dorsal fin that is more than three times the height of the second dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Carcharhinus amboinensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Feb 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/2882

Pigeye Shark, Carcharhinus amboinensis (Müller & Henle 1839)

More Info


Carnarvon, WA to Moreton Bay, QLD. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, east-Atlantic-Indo-west Pacific. Inhabits coastal waters, usually near the bottom, occasionally entering estuaries.
The Pigeye Shark is frequently confused with the Bull Shark, C. leucas.


Feeds on pelagic and demersal bony fishes, sharks and rays, squid, shrimps, cuttlefish, octopus, lobsters, gastropods and mammalian carrion.


Males have a life span of 26 years; female life span is 30 years.

Similar Species

Although the Pigeye Shark is often confused with the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, due to its short, blunt snout and dark markings, they can be readily distinguished. The first dorsal fin of the Pigeye Shark is tall and erect, and is more than three times the height of the second dorsal fin. The Pigeye Shark also has a smaller eye than the Bull Shark.

Species Citation

Carcharias (Prionodon) amboinensis Müller & Henle 1839, Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen: 40, pl. 9. Type locality: Ambon, Indonesia.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Pigeye Shark, Carcharhinus amboinensis (Müller & Henle 1839)


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Tillett, B.J., Meekan, M.G., Broderick, D., Field, I.C., Cliff, G. & Ovenden, J.R. 2012. Pleistocene isolation, secondary introgression and restricted contemporary gene flow in the pig-eye shark, Carcharhinus amboinensis across northern Australia. Conservation Genetics 13(1): 99–115. doi:10.1007/s10592-011-0268-z PDF Open access

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37018026

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:surface to 100 m

Habitat:Coastal marine, estuaries

Max Size:280 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map