Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 92 m (Ref. 244). Subtropical; 45°N - 33°S, 114°W - 14°E (Ref. 55192)
Western Atlantic: New Jersey, USA to southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean; also in Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 26938). Northeast Atlantic: Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and probably wide-ranging off West Africa, but this requires confirmation. Eastern Pacific: southern Baja California, Mexico and the Gulf of California to Ecuador.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 239 - ? cm
Max length : 340 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26938); common length : 240 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 183.7 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 31395)
A brownish shark with yellow overtones but no conspicuous markings. Large second dorsal fin nearly same size as first dorsal (Ref. 26938).
Occurs on continental and insular shelves, frequenting mangrove fringes, coral keys, docks, sand or coral mud bottoms, saline creeks, enclosed bays or sounds, and river mouths. May enter fresh water. Occasionally moves into the open ocean, near or at the surface, apparently for purposes of migration. May rest motionless on the bottom (Ref. 9710). May occur singly or in small groups. Feeds mainly on fish but also takes crustaceans and mollusks. Viviparous, with 4 to 17 young in a litter. Size at birth 60 to 65 cm. Has been involved in several attacks on people. Meat is utilized for human consumption, hides for leather, fins for shark-fin soup base, liver oil for vitamins, and carcasses for fish meal. Marketed fresh, dried-salted and frozen (Ref. 9987).
Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205). Viviparous, placental (Ref. 50449), with 5 to 17 embryos (Ref. 9253). Both male and female during precopulatory and courtship swim with body axes in parallel (Ref. 49562, 51112). During copulation, the pair performs coordinated swimming (Ref. 49562, 51112).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 21.9 - 28, mean 25.6 °C (based on 714 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.7500 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00490 (0.00257 - 0.00934), b=3.11 (2.95 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.3 ±0.5 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (K=0.54(?); tm=12.7; tmax=25; Fec = 4-17; rmax = 0.012).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (87 of 100) .