es ca en fr

Species guide

Blacktip reef shark

Scientific name: Carcharhinus melanopterus

 

DESCRIPTION:
The blacktip reef shark is named so because the ends of its fins are black, particularly the first dorsal and the caudal. Its teeth are narrow, sharp and strongly serrated, designed to eat the reef fish.
Its maximum size is 1.8 m.

 

BIOLOGY:
The blacktip reef shark is a species that lives alone or in small groups. It is a strong swimmer, very attractive, shy but unpredictable when aggressive.
It is a carnivore and eats fish, molluscs and crustaceans. It basically feeds at night.
It is viviparous and has between 1 and 12 offspring with a gestation that lasts almost a year. It has internal fertilisation and mates on the sea bed. The male holds the female still by biting the pectoral fin to insert its copulating organ in the female genital orifice.

 

HABITAT:
This shark usually lives in shallow lagoons and on coral reefs, normally swimming in shallow waters a depths of some 30 cm.

 

DISTRIBUTION:
They are found in the Red Sea, Hawaii, Marquesas Islands and Japan. In recent years the black tip reef sharks have entered the eastern Mediterranean through the Suez canal.

 

STATUS:
A species evaluated at of less concern, but close to being classified as vulnerable (according to the red list of endangered species).

CURIOSITIES:

Did you know that the blacktip reef sharks cannot stop swimming? Just like other sharks, their breathing is passive, that is, they need to swim continuously to breathe and if they stop, they can drown.