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Stegostoma tigrinum (Forster, 1781)

Zebra shark
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Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Orectolobiformes (Carpet sharks) > Stegostomatidae (Zebra sharks)
Etymology: Stegostoma: stego (Gr.), cover; stoma (Gr.), mouth, referring to how “upper jaw is surmounted by a thick, membranous bulge” (translation), i.e., rounded snout conceals upper jaw and mouth opening. (See ETYFish);  tigrinum: Latin for banded or striped, referring to zebra-like vertical bars on juveniles. (See ETYFish).
More on author: Forster.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 90 m (Ref. 106604), usually 5 - 30 m (Ref. 1602). Tropical; 26°C - 29°C (Ref. 4959); 41°N - 30°S, 32°E - 169°W

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

Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to New Caledonia and Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales, Australia. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797). Also from Persian Gulf (Ref. 247).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 170 - ? cm
Max length : 354 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 58048)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

This species is distinguished by the following characters: a long caudal fin (49.9-54.2% TL), five dorsolateral ridges along the body, visible even in hatchlings; spiracles bean-shaped, large (length 0.4-1.7% TL); eyes small (length 0.9-2.1% TL); barbels two and short (0.6-2.8% TL); gill slits five, with fourth and fifth partly fused so only four noticeable from a distance; pectoral fins large (anterior margin length 10.4-19.1% TL), are broad and rounded; first dorsal fin originates far posteriorly above the pelvic fins; pectoral-fin rays of semi-plesodic structure, reaching ca. 66-88% of pectoral fin; vertebrae; total 207-262, monospondylous precaudal 43-49, diplospondylous precaudal 38-50, diplospondylous caudal 120-175, precaudal vertebrae 81-101; tooth rows on upper jaw 13-30, on lower jaw 22-30, and series count, upper jaw: 7-27, lower 8-16; ring-type intestine with 18-20 valvular turns. Two color morphs, with a three-stage ontogenetic color and pattern change: the Zebra morph with juveniles with dark brown background and cream colored bands (zebra-like), transitionals light brown with dark bands, broken up by dots and adults beige to yellow with spotted pattern (can be leopard-like); the sandy color morph: transitionals light beige background with swirly pattern of narrow, darker brown bands with tiny spots breaking up the pattern and with adults uniformly sandy beige with tiny dark brown freckles (Ref. 125658).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A tropical inshore shark found on sand, rubble, or coral bottoms of the continental and insular shelves (Ref. 247). Recorded to have entered freshwater (Ref. 4735). Rather sluggish at least during the day (Ref. 247). Probably nocturnal, feeds mainly on mollusks, but also small bony fishes (Ref. 9993). Also known to eat crustaceans (crabs and shrimps) and sea snakes (Ref. 43278). Oviparous (Ref. 43278, 50449). Slow-swimming and able to squirm into narrow cracks, crevices and channel in reefs while searching for food (Ref. 247). Readily kept in captivity (Ref. 247). May bite when provoked (Ref. 247). Utilized fresh and dried-salted for human consumption and also for fishmeal; livers processed for vitamins; fins dried for the oriental sharkfin trade; offal utilized for fishmeal (Ref. 247). Possibly reaching 354 cm TL (Ref. 9993, 47613). Caught in drift net intended for sharks (Ref. 47736). Reported from freshwater in the Philippines but needs to be confirmed (Ref. 43278).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Oviparous (Ref. 247). Egg cases are large, dark brown or purplish black, with longitudinal striations (Ref. 6871). Size at birth 20-26 cm TL (Ref. 9993).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Dahl, R.B., E.E. Sigsgaard, G. Mwangi, P.F. Thomsen, R.D. Jørgensen, F. de Oliveira Torquato, L. Olsen and P.R. Møller, 2019. The sandy zebra shark: A new color morph of the zebra shark Stegostoma tigrinum, with a redescription of the species and a revision of its nomenclature. Copeia, 107(3):524-541. (Ref. 125658)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)

  Endangered (EN) (A2bd+3bd); Date assessed: 18 February 2015

CITES

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 247)





Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO - Fisheries: species profile; Publication: search | FishSource | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | DORIS | ECOTOX | FAO - Fisheries: species profile; Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | Public aquariums | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201): 24.2 - 28.8, mean 27.6 °C (based on 956 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 1.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.1   ±0.4 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (90 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.
Nutrients (Ref. 124155):  Calcium = 12.6 [2.0, 44.3] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.477 [0.136, 1.350] mg/100g ; Protein = 17.9 [15.5, 20.2] % ; Omega3 = 0.145 [0.056, 0.353] g/100g ; Selenium = 46.9 [9.6, 163.9] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 16.7 [4.4, 60.0] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.874 [0.397, 2.541] mg/100g (wet weight);