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Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo, 1827)
Northern Whaler Shark; Sand Shark; Thickskin Shark; Carcharhinus dorsalis Whhitley, 1944; Carcharhinus stevensi Ogilby, 1911; Carcharias plumbeus Nardo, 1827; Eulamia dorsalis Whitley, 1944; Eulamia plumbea Nardo, 1827; Eulamia stevensi Ogilby, 1911; Galeolamna stevensi Ogilby, 1911; Galeolamna dorsalis Whitley, 1944; Squalus plumbeus Nardo, 1827

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Carcharhinus plumbeus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Carcharhinus plumbeus

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Carcharhinus plumbeus
© Copyright John Rangall, 2006 · 0
Carcharhinus plumbeus
Carcharhinus plumbeus
© Copyright John Rangall, 2006 · 0
Carcharhinus plumbeus

Carcharhinus plumbeus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Carcharhinus plumbeus

Main identification features
  • 1st dorsal fin : very high, origin before pectoral insertion
  • crest between ds
Body medium build; snout round, short; nasal opening small and well separated nasal folds low, not very evident; round eye; spiracle absent; upper front teeth broadly triangular and finely serrated; 5 gill slits, last 2 over pectoral fin base; first dorsal very high (height~1/2 length before D fin), triangular, origin over rear of base pectoral; origin of second dorsal over anal origin; pectoral long, and wide, tip pointed to rounded; prominent crest between dorsal fins; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, with well developed lower lobe, undulating ridge along dorsal surface of top lobe, and a ventral notch near tip of that lobe; notch on top of tail base.

Grey above, belly whitish.

Size: 250 cm.

Habitat: inshore and offshore, coastal pelagic, demersal over sandy and muddy bottoms, bay mouths, river mouths.

Depth: 0-1800 m.

Circumtropical; there are reports from the Galapagos and the Revillagigedos, however there are no known specimens from our region.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 1800 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: bony fishes; mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves; octopus/squid/cuttlefish; sharks/rays.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=20; Southern limit=-2; Western limit=-115; Eastern limit=-90; Latitudinal range=22; Longitudinal range=25.
Egg Type: Live birth; No pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Bentho-Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Corals; Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom); Water column; Reef and soft bottom; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Estuary; Reef (rock &/or coral).
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Offshore; In & Offshore.
IUCN Red List: Near threatened; Listed.
Length Max: 250 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s) only; Island (s); Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Vagrant.
Salinity: Brackish; Marine.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Bottom; Bottom + water column; Bottom;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Barez, 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 Len:153-170.
  • Compagno , L. J. V. and Cook, S. F., 1995., The exploitation and conservation of freshwater elasmobranchs: status of taxa and prospects for the future., Journal of Aquariculture and Aquatic Sciences, 7:62-90.
  • 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 shark species known to date. Part 2. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Species Catalogue., FAO Fish. Synop. No 125, 4(2):251-655.
  • 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., Barez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Nardo,., 1827., Prodromus observationum et disquisitionum Adriaticae ichthyologiae., Giorn. Fisica Chimica Storia Nat. Med. Arti, Pavia, 10:22-40.


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http://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/82508f9d-d2be-4f78-9a15-3948b7cbee18 ---> https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/82508f9d-d2be-4f78-9a15-3948b7cbee18
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

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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) » CARCHARHINIFORMES (Order) » CARCHARHINIDAE (Family) » Carcharhinus Blainville, 1816 (Genus) » Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo, 1827)

Species Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo, 1827)


Regional Maps

External Links

CAAB : 37018007 Taxon concept Carcharhinus_plumbeus last modified 2014-03-13 14:41:28.159

Species Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo, 1827)

Sandbar Shark , Northern Whaler Shark, Sand Shark, Thickskin Shark


Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy


Generic Combinations



In 2007, Carcharhinus plumbeus was placed on the IUCN Red List as Vulmerable.




New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Esperance, WA to Coffs Harbour, NSW and Lord Howe Island; tropical, Atlantic Indo-west-central Pacific.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Lord Howe Province (14), Northwest Shelf Transition (26), Northwest Shelf Province (27), Central Western Shelf Transition (28), Central Western Shelf Province (29), Southwest Shelf Transition (30), Southwest Shelf Province (31), Central Eastern Shelf Province (38), Central Eastern Shelf Transition (39), Northeast Shelf Province (40), Northeast Shelf Transition (41)

Distribution References

Ecological Descriptors

Continental shelf, coral reef, inshore, marine, pelagic.

Extra Ecological Information

To 280 m.


General References

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 . Rome : FAO Vol. 4(2) 251-655 pp. [490]

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World . London : Collins 368 pp. [304]

Compagno, L.J.V. & Niem, V.H. 1998. Family Carcharhinidae. pp. 1312-1360 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes . Rome : FAO Vol. 2 687-1396 pp. [1345]

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers . Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. [24]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. [253]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. [270]

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. [14]

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part I. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5 : 1–144 [10] (as Carcharhinus stevensi )

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20 : 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961] [9] (58, as C. stevensi and 10, 65, as C. dorsalis )

Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide . Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp. [200]

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. [21]

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea . Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. [21]

Whitley, G.P. 1964. A survey of Australian Ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 89 (1): 11-127 [33] (45 as Galeolamna dorsalis , 56 as Galeolamna ( Ogilamia ) stevensi )


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. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 . Rome : FAO Vol. 4(2) 251-655 pp. [493] ( Sandbar Shark )

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes . Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. [43] (Northern Whaler Shark)

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. [253] (Thickskin Shark)

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20 : 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961] [10] (Sand Shark)

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


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-Aug-2012 22-Nov-2013 MODIFIED
16-Apr-2012 16-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)

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Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Chondrichthyes  
 Order Carcharhiniformes  
 Family Carcharhinidae  
 Genus Carcharhinus  
  Carcharhinus plumbeus    (Nardo, 1827) 
Provider: Pofeng Lee& Shoou-Jeng Joung 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Carcharhinus bleekeri Carcharhinus japonicus Carcharhinus milberti Carcharhinus platyodon Carcharias ceruleus Carcharias japonicus Carcharias latistomus Carcharias milberti Carcharias obtusirostris Carcharias stevensi Carcharinus latistomus details
Citation: 臺灣魚類誌(沈等, 1993); 中國動物誌-圓口綱及軟骨魚綱(朱等, 2001); FAO Species Catalogue, Vol.4 Sharks of the world
Character: A medium sized, fairly stock species. Snout short and broadly rounded. Eyes moderately large, its length 1.7-2.9% of total length. Gill slits short, length of the 3rd 2.4-3.6% of total length and less than a third of 1st dorsal fin base. Rows of anteroposterior teeth in each jaw half 14-15/12-15. upper teeth with broadly triangular, strongly serrated cusps, merging smoothly into crown feet with slightly coarser serrations but no cusplets. Lower teeth with erect, narrow serrated cusps and transverse roots. Interdorsal ridge present. First dorsal fin very large, with a pointed or narrowly rounded apex. Origin of 1st dorsal fin over or slightly anterior to pectoral insertions. Inner margin of 1st dorsal fin moderately long, 2/5 of dorsal fin base, or slightly less. Second dorsal fin moderately high, its height 2.1-3.5% of total length. Origin of 2nd dorsal fin over or slightly anterior to anal origin. Pectoral fin large, with a narrowly rounded or pointed apices. Number of total vertebral centra 152-189, precaudal centra 82-97. Colour grey-brown above, white below. Tips and posterior edges of fins are often dusky, but no conspicuous markings. 
Habitat: An abundant, inshore and offshore, coastal-pelagic shark. This species has an annual migration cycle along the western North Atlantic seaboard of the United States. Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta. Litter size 1-14, with 5-15 common. Litter size vari 
Distribution: Western Atlantic including southern Massachusetts to Florida, northern and western Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela, southern Brazil. Eastern Atlantic including Mediterranean Sea, Portugal, Morocco, Senegal, Cape Verde Islan 
Utility: This is an abundant inshore and offshore species. It is caught with longlines, hook-and-line, and set bottom nets. It is utilized fresh, fresh-frozen, smoked and dried salted for human consumption. Hides used for leather, fins for shark-fin soup, liver oi 
Name Code: 383079
  IUCN Red List:VU  A2bd+4bd      Marine     
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Common name (e.g. trout)

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Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo , 1827)

Sandbar shark Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae (Requiem sharks)
Etymology: Carcharhinus: Greek, karcharos = sharpen + Greek, rhinos = nose (Ref. 45335 ) .  More on author: Nardo .

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

Marine; brackish; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 0 - 500 m (Ref. 100719 ), usually 20 - 65 m (Ref. 55188 ).   Subtropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 244 ); 45°N - 43°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 55188 )

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

Western Atlantic: southern Massachusetts, USA to Argentina (Ref. 58839 ); also Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba and south and west Caribbean (Ref. 26938 ). Eastern Atlantic: Portugal to Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the Mediterranean. Indo-Pacific: scattered records ranging from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands. Eastern Pacific: Revillagigedo and Galapagos islands (Ref. 28023 ).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ? , range 126 - 183 cm
Max length : 180 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27549 ); 250.0 cm TL (female); common length : 200 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9987 ); max. published weight: 117.9 kg (Ref. 4699 ); max. reported age: 34 years (Ref. 92315 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines : 0; Anal soft rays : 0. A stout shark with a moderately long, rounded snout, high, triangular, saw-edged upper teeth, and an interdorsal ridge; 1st dorsal fin very large and erect (Ref. 5578 ). Grey-brown or bronzy with no prominent markings, white below (Ref. 5578 ). Fins plain or with slightly dusky tips (Ref. 5485 ).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found inshore and offshore, on continental and insular shelves and adjacent deep water (Ref. 244 ). Common at bays, river mouths and in harbors; avoids sandy beaches and the surf zone, coral reefs and rough bottom, and surface waters (Ref. 244 ). Coastal-pelagic, but usually bottom associated at 1-280 m (Ref. 58302 ). Sometimes in oceanic waters (Ref. 9997 ). Known to make extended seasonal migrations in some parts of its range (Ref. 6871 ). Feeds mainly on bony fishes, also small sharks, cephalopods, and shrimps (Ref. 5578 ), rays and gastropods (Ref. 5213 ). Youngs feed heavily on crustaceans such as blue crabd and mantis shrimp (Ref. 93252 ). Viviparous (Ref. 50449 ). Sexual dimorphism is evident in thickness of skin layer of maturing and adult females (Ref. 49562 ). Females live as long as 21 year; males 15 years (Ref. 27549 ). Populations are segregated by age. Young readily kept in aquaria (Ref. 244 ). Utilized for human consumption, for leather and oil (Ref. 244 ). Marketed fresh, smoked, dried-salted and frozen; fins are valued for soup (Ref. 9987 ). Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166 ). Records to 300 cm TL uncertain (Ref. 9997 ). TL to 300 cm (Ref. 26938 ). Angling: an inshore fish and a good light-tackle fighter (Ref. 84357 ).

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

Viviparous (Ref. 26281 ), placental (Ref. 50449 ), 1-14 pups in a litter; 56-75 cm at birth (Ref. 2334 ); gestation period of 12 months (Ref.58048). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205 ). Sexual dimorphism is evident in the thicker skin layer of maturing and adult females (Ref. 49562 ). This thickened skin may serve as protection from the 'bites' the female species receive from the males during precopulation and in the rugged conditions of the rock and coral environment where they live (Ref. 49562 ). Pups are born from Feb. to April in Northeastern Taiwan (Ref. 37027 ).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

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. 120744 )

  Vulnerable (VU)  (A2bd+4bd); Date assessed: 20 February 2007

CITES (Ref. 118484 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless (Ref. 9997 )

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes FAO(fisheries: production , species profile ; publication : search ) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | DiscoverLife | DORIS | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank( genome , nucleotide ) | GloBI | GoMexSI (interaction data) | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | Public aquariums | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Tree of Life | Wikipedia( Go , Search ) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 16.6 - 28.9, mean 27 (based on 3224 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00513 (0.00322 - 0.00816), b=3.17 (3.04 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  4.5   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies. Resilience (Ref. 120179 ):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (rm=0.028; K=0.05-0.09; tm=12-16; tmax=34; Fec=5-12). Prior r = 0.06, 95% CL = 0.04 - 0.10, Based on 1 stock assessment. Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Very high vulnerability (88 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Medium .

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