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Alopias pelagicus Nakamura, 1935
Small Tooth Thresher Shark

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Alopiidae   Alopias

Alopias pelagicus
www.fao.org Copyright Michel Lamboeuf · 0
Alopias pelagicus

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Alopias pelagicus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Alopias pelagicus
Alopias pelagicus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Alopias pelagicus

Main identification features
  • snout long, narrow; arched between eyes
  • pectoral: straight, broad tip
  • dark above pectoral
Body stout, cylindrical; head short, rounded between eyes, narrow; snout elongate, conical; forehead profile ~straight; no groove on nape; eyes small; mouth small, ventral; teeth small, asymetric, notched and serrated; gill openings - 5, short, last 2 over pectoral base; first dorsal large, midway between pectorals and pelvics; second dorsal and anal very small; pectorals very long, straight, with broad tips; pelvics large; upper lobe of tail extremely long, ~equal to body length; no keels on tail base.

Back blue to grey, belly white; white of belly not extending over pectoral fin.

Size: 383cm.

Habitat: oceanic, pelagic.

Depth: 0-700 m.

Indo-Pacific; central California to the Gulf of California, and the Revillagigedos and the Galapagos.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California).
Depth Range Max: 700 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: octopus/squid/cuttlefish; bony fishes.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=40; Southern limit=-8; Western limit=-123; Eastern limit=-78; Latitudinal range=48; Longitudinal range=45.
Egg Type: Live birth; No pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic.
Global Endemism: All Pacific (West + Central + East); Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Water column.
Inshore Offshore: Offshore; Offshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 383 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Surface; Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Balart , E. F. , Castro-Aguirre , J. L. , Aurioles-Gamboa , D. , García-Rodriguez , F. and Villavicencio-Garayzar, C., 1995., Adiciones a la ictiofauna de Bahía de la Paz, Baja California Sur, México., Hidrobiologica, 5:79-85.
  • Bellido-Millán, J.M. and Villavicencio-Garayzar, C.J., 2002., Pesqueria artesanal de tiburon en la region central del Golfo de California. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:143-152.
  • Béarez, P., 1996., Lista de los Peces Marinos del Ecuador Continental., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:731-741.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Compagno, L.J.V., 1999., Checklist of living elasmobranchs. In Hamlett W.C. (ed.) Sharks, skates, and rays: the biology of elasmobranch fishes., The John Hopkins University Press:471-498.
  • Compagno, L.J.V., 1984., Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of sharks species known to date. Part 1. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Species Catalogue., FAO Fish. Synop. No 125, 4(1):1-249.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Madrid Vera , J. , Ruíz Luna , A. and Rosado Bravo, I., 1998., Peces de la plataforma continental de Michoacán y sus relaciones regionales en el Pacífico mexicano., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 42(2):267-276.
  • Nakamura,., 1935., On the two species of the thresher shark from Formosan waters., Mem. Fac. Sci. Taihoku Imp. Univ. Formosa, 14:1-6.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.


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Following modified from Australian Faunal Directory
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http://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/50d7d38a-8c36-4b72-8ab7-9bfeedbfcc65 ---> https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/50d7d38a-8c36-4b72-8ab7-9bfeedbfcc65
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

You are here:  Environment home » Biodiversity » ABRS » AFD » ANIMALIA (Kingdom) » CHORDATA (Phylum) » VERTEBRATA (Subphylum) » GNATHOSTOMATA (Higher Taxon) » PISCES (Higher Taxon) » CHONDRICHTHYES (Class) » ELASMOBRANCHII (Subclass) » LAMNIFORMES (Order) » ALOPIIDAE (Family) » Alopias Rafinesque, 1810 (Genus) » Alopias pelagicus Nakamura, 1935

Species Alopias pelagicus Nakamura, 1935


Regional Maps

External Links

CAAB : 37012003 Taxon concept Alopias_pelagicus last modified 2014-03-13 14:41:28.159

Species Alopias pelagicus Nakamura, 1935

Pelagic Thresher , Small Tooth Thresher Shark




Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

North West Shelf, and off North West Cape, WA; tropical, Indo-Pacific.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Timor Province (2), Northwest Shelf Province (27), Northwest Transition (3), Northwest Province (4), Central Western Transition (5)

Ecological Descriptors

Continental shelf, epipelagic, marine, oceanic.

Extra Ecological Information

Surface to 150 m


General References

Compagno, L.J.V. 2001. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes) . Rome : FAO, FAO Species Catalogue for Fisheries Purposes No. 1 Vol. 2 269 pp. [81]

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World . London : Collins 368 pp. [179]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. [169]

Macbeth, W.G., Vandenberg, M. & Graham, K.J. 2008. Identifying Sharks and Rays; A guide to Commercial Fishers . Sydney : New South Wales Department of Primary Industry pp. 71. [47] (possibly in northern New South Wales)

Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide . Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp. [186]


Common Name References

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 . Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249. [229] ( Pelagic Thresher )

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea . Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. [16] (Small Tooth Thresher Shark)

Seafood Services Australia 2008. Australian Fish Names Standard. http://www.fishnames.com.au/. ( Pelagic Thresher )


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Apr-2012 16-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)

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Last modified: Thursday, 13 March 2014 2:41:28 PM AEDT

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&pull 20q v5.145 20180528: Error 301 Moved Permanently http://taibnet.sinica.edu.tw/eng/taibnet_species_detail.php?gen=Alopias&spe=pelagicus

Following modified from FishBase
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http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Alopias&speciesname=pelagicus ---> https://www.fishbase.in/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Alopias&speciesname=pelagicus
https://www.fishbase.in/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Alopias&speciesname=pelagicus ---> https://www.fishbase.in/summary/Alopias-pelagicus.html
Alopias pelagicus, Pelagic thresher : fisheries, gamefish This page is sponsored by
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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Alopias pelagicus Nakamura , 1935

Pelagic thresher Add your observation in Fish Watcher
Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Alopias pelagicus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Videos |     Google image Image of Alopias pelagicus (Pelagic thresher) Alopias pelagicus
Male picture by Romanov, E.V.

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

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Lamniformes (Mackerel sharks) > Alopiidae (Thresher sharks)
Etymology: Alopias: Greek, alopex = fox (Ref. 45335 ) .

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

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 0 - 300 m (Ref. 106604 ), usually 0 - 150 m (Ref. 55167 ).   Tropical; 40°N - 42°S, 16°E - 70°W (Ref. 54277 )

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

Circumglobal. Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Maldives (Ref. 30829 ), Somalia, South Africa, Western Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan, New Caledonia, Hawaiian Islands and Tahiti. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California and the Galapagos. Reliable records lacking partly due to its confusion with Alopias vulpinus .

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ? , range 260 - 292 cm
Max length : 428 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 106604 ); 383.0 cm TL (female); common length : 276 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. ); max. reported age: 29 years (Ref. 48844 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines : 0; Anal soft rays : 0. A small thresher with moderately large eyes, a broadly convex forehead, a very narrow caudal tip, and straight, broad-tipped pectoral fins (Ref. 5578 ). Upper lobe of caudal fin very long and strap-like, almost equal to length of rest of shark; lower lobe short but strong; terminal lobe very small (Ref. 13570 ). Dark blue on back and sides, underside white; no white patch over pectoral fin bases (Ref. 5578 ).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Primarily an oceanic species but sometimes close inshore (Ref. 247 , 5578 , 58302 ); neritic to oceanic, 0-152 m (Ref. 11230 ). Epipelagic (Ref. 58302 ). Mesopelagic in the tropics; may enter atoll lagoons (Ref. 37816 ). Stuns its prey with its tail, presumably feeding on small fishes and cephalopods (Ref. 6871 ). Ovoviviparous, embryos feeding on yolk sac and other ova produced by the mother (Ref. 43278 , 50449 ). Sometimes caught by ski-boat anglers (Ref. 5578 ). Utilized for human consumption, liver oil for vitamin extraction, hides for leather, and fins for shark-fin soup (Ref. 13570 ). A very common catch in the tuna and shark longline, and tuna drift net fisheries (Ref.58048). Maximum and common size of males estimated from discussion in Ref. 247. Adult females may reach at least 330 cm TL (Ref. 47613 ).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning

Updated: 2020-08-04 00:37:55 gmt
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