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Triaenodon obesus  (Rüppell, 1837)

Whitetip reef shark
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
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Triaenodon obesus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Triaenodon obesus (Whitetip reef shark)
Triaenodon obesus
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae (Requiem sharks)

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 330 m (Ref. 244), usually 8 - 40 m (Ref. 244).   Tropical; 29°N - 30°S, 33°E - 77°W (Ref. 55196)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 105 - 109 cm
Max length : 213 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 244); common length : 160 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 244); max. published weight: 18.3 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 6807)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A small, slender shark with an extremely short, broad snout, oval eyes, and conspicuous white tips on the 1st dorsal (sometimes 2nd) and upper caudal fins; 2nd dorsal almost as large as 1st; no interdorsal ridge (Ref. 5578). Spiracles usually present, teeth 47-50/ 44-46, in at least 2 functional rows. Grey above, lighter below and sometimes with dark spots on sides (Ref. 5578). First dorsal-fin lobe and dorsal caudal-fin lobe with conspicuous white tips, second dorsal-fin lobe and ventral caudal-fin lobe often white-tipped (Ref. 9997).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Indonesia and the Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819), north to Ryukyu and Ogasawara islands, south to New South Wales (Australia), New Caledonia, and the Austral and Pitcairn islands; throughout Micronesia. Eastern Pacific: Cocos and Galapagos islands, Panama to Costa Rica.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Sluggish inhabitant of lagoons and seaward reefs where it is often found resting in caves or under coral ledges during the day (Ref. 6871, 58302), or usually on a sand patch, or in a channel (Ref. 37816). More active at night or during slack tide in areas of strong currents (Ref. 37816). Feeds on benthic animals such as fishes, octopi, spiny lobsters and crabs (Ref. 244). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Travels distances from about 0.3 to 3 km in periods up to about 1 year (Ref. 244). Rarely reported to attack humans, but is potentially dangerous especially when fish had been speared (Ref. 244). Probably fished wherever it occurs (Ref. 244). Caught by inshore longline and gillnet fisheries, and probably adversely affected by dynamite fishing (Ref.58048). Meat and liver utilized fresh for human consumption (Ref. 244). The liver of this shark has been reported as toxic (Ref. 583). One to five 60 cm young per litter (Ref. 1602).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 244)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00417 (0.00211 - 0.00824), b=3.09 (2.92 - 3.26), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=5-9; tmax=25; Fec=1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (83 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.