Blacktail Reef Shark

Average Weight/Length

Max length : 255 cm TL male/unsexed; 172.0 cm TL (female); max. published weight: 33.7 kg; max. reported age: 25 years

Location Habitat

Occurs on continental and insular shelves and oceanic waters adjacent to them. Common on coral reefs, often in deeper areas near drop-offs to the open sea, in atoll passes, and in shallow lagoons adjacent to areas of strong currents. Coastal-pelagic near the bottom, near drop-offs at 1-275 m. Forms daytime schools or aggregations in favored areas. Although active during the day, it is more active nocturnally. Viviparous, with 1-6 pups. Feeds on reef fishes, squids, octopi, crabs, lobsters and shrimps. Tends to be aggressive under baited conditions and readily enters into a frenzy feeding pattern, at which time it may become quite dangerous. Repeatedly incriminated in human attacks.

Biology & Physical Description

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. Dark grey or bronze-grey above, white below; caudal fin with a conspicuous wide black posterior margin; undersides of pectoral and pelvic fins with black tips and posterior margins, but fins otherwise not conspicuously black or white-tipped except for white-tipped first dorsal in some individuals

Life Cycle & Mating Behavior

Viviparous, placental. 1-6 pups in a litter. Gestation period about 12 months. Size at birth 50 to 60 cm or 75 cm. Distinct pairing with embrace

Geographic Species Map ( Map)

Summary of Distribution: Indo-West Pacific to Central Pacific: Madagascar and the Mauritius-Seychelles area to Tuamoto Archipelago; north to southern China; south to northern Australia.

Note: Distribution range colors indicate degree of suitability of habitat which can be interpreted as probabilities of occurrence (

Food Rating

Game Rating : 6/10

Game Description :

Utilized for human consumption, fishmeal, and other shark products.

Picture (Fish)