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Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)
Great White Shark; Grey Death; Grey Pointer; White Death; White Pointer; Carcharhinus carcharias Linnaeus, 1758; Carcharias lamia Rafinesque, 1810; Carcharodon albimors Whitley, 1939; Carcharodon rondeletii Müller and Henle, 1839; Squalus carcharias Linnaeus, 1758

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Carcharodon carcharias
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Carcharodon carcharias

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Carcharodon carcharias, Great White Shark
© Copyright Will Booker 2014 · 1
Carcharodon carcharias, Great White Shark
Carcharodon carcharias
© Copyright Cody Parmer 2010 · 1
Carcharodon carcharias

Carcharodon carcharias Copyright Michel Lamboeuf · 0
Carcharodon carcharias

Main identification features Fusiform, robust body; snout conical, blunt, with nostrils on sides; mouth large, round; teeth on top jaw triangular, serrated; 5 large gill slits, all before pectoral fin; tail almost symmetrical, half-moon shaped; tail base very depressed, with large keel that extends onto tail itself; first dorsal fin large, triangular, origin over rear of base of pectoral fin; second dorsal fin very small; anal fin very small, origin under rear of base of second dorsal fin.

Back grey-brown, blue-grey, to blackish; belly white to pale grey; underside of tips of fins black

Size: 720 cm.

Habitat: coastal, inshore to oceanic.

Depth: 0 to 1280 m.

Circumglobal, temperate; in our area: Baja and the Gulf of California; Panama to Peru and the Galapagos and Revillagigedos.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Appendix III.
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California); Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ); Antitropical (North and South temperate).
Depth Range Max: 1280 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: bony fishes; sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds; sharks/rays; mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); octopus/squid/cuttlefish.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=33; Southern limit=-9; Western limit=-118; Eastern limit=-79; Latitudinal range=42; Longitudinal range=39.
Egg Type: Live birth; No pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: 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: Water column; Estuary; Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom).
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Offshore; In & Offshore.
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable; Listed.
Length Max: 720 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; California + Peruvian provinces, primarily; Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Bottom; Near Surface; Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Bellido-Milln, 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 Len:143-152.
  • 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., 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.
  • Eschmeyer , W. N. , Herald , E. S. and Hamman, H., 1983., A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. Peterson Field Guide Ser. 28., Houghton Mifflin:336pp.
  • 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 versin 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo . Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservacin 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.
  • Galvn-Magaa, F., Abitia-Crdenas, L.A., Rodrguez-Romero, J., Prez-Espaa, H., Chvez-Ramos, H., 1996., Systematics list of the fishes from Cerralvo island, Baja California Sur, Mexico., Ciencias Marinas, 22:295-311.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Barez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Linnaeus, C., 1758., Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae., Systema Nat. ed. 10, 1:1-824.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • 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. , Ruz Luna , A. and Rosado Bravo, I., 1998., Peces de la plataforma continental de Michoacn y sus relaciones regionales en el Pacfico mexicano., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 42(2):267-276.
  • Meek , S.E. and Hildebrand, S.F., 1923., The marine fishes of Panama. Part I., Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. Publ., XV:1-330.
  • Musick, J.A., Harbin, M.M., Berkeley, S.A., Burgess, G.H. Eklund, A.M., Findley, L., Gilmore, R.G., Golden, J.T., Ha, D.S., Huntsman, G.R., McGovern, J.C., Parker, S.J., Poss, S.G., Sala, E., & Schmidt, T.W., Sedberry, G.R., Weeks, H., Wright, S.G., 2000., Marine, estuarine, and diadromous fish stocks at risk of extinction in North America (exclusive of Pacific salmonids)., Fisheries, 25:6-30.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, Mxico., 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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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) » LAMNIDAE (Family) » Carcharodon Smith, 1838 (Genus) » Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)

Species Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)


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CAAB : 37010003 Taxon concept Carcharodon_carcharias last modified 2014-03-13 14:41:28.159

Species Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)

White Shark , Great White Shark, Grey Death, Grey Pointer, White Death, White Pointer


Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy


Generic Combinations



The White Shark (as Great White Shark) is listed as vulnerable nationally, and is vulnerable or protected in most states; the IUCN has listed the White Shark as vulnerable. Biological information on Australian populations is treated by Bruce (1992) and Bruce et al . (2006). In New South Wales and other southern states the White Shark is a Protected Species. Reports of a shark from Australia of 36.5 feet in length is in error; the actual maximum length of the species is believed to be closer to 6 m (Randall 1973).




New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Moreton Bay, QLD to North West Cape, WA, including TAS; temperate, circumglobal, basically antitropical, but ranges into tropics.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Tasmania Province (10), Southeast Transition (11), Central Eastern Province (12), Lord Howe Province (14), Norfolk Island Province (21), Central Western Shelf Transition (28), Central Western Shelf Province (29), Southwest Shelf Transition (30), Southwest Shelf Province (31), Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition (32), Spencer Gulf Shelf Province (33), Western Bass Strait Shelf Transition (34), Bass Strait Shelf Province (35), Tasmanian Shelf Province (36), Southeast Shelf Transition (37), Central Eastern Shelf Province (38), Central Eastern Shelf Transition (39), Central Western Province (6), Southwest Transition (7), Southern Province (8), West Tasmania Transition (9)

Distribution References

Ecological Descriptors

Coastal, continental shelf, inshore, marine, pelagic.

Extra Ecological Information

Normally found inshore, but species is migratory and has been found over a wide depth range from 0-1300 m


General References

Bruce, B.D., Stevens, J.D. & Malcolm, H. 2006. Movements and swimming behaiour of white sharks ( Carcharodon carcharias ) in Australian waters. Marine Biology 150 : 161-172

Bruce, G.D. 1992. Preliminary observations on the biology of the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias , in South Australian Waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43 : 1-11

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. [239]

Compagno, L.J.V. 1998. Families Pseudocarchariidae, Alopiidae, Lamnidae. pp. 1268-1278 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. [1276]

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. [100]

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World . London : Collins 368 pp. [182]

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes . Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. [37]

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers . Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. [22, 120]

Klimley, A.P. & Ainley, D.G. (eds) 1996. Great White Sharks. The Biology of Carcharodon carcharias . San Diego : Academic Press 517 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia . Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. [14]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. [162]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. [176]

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. [42]

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part I. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5 : 1–144 [15]

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] [3] (11)

Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide . Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp. [173]

Randall, J.E. 1973. Size of the great white shark ( Carcharodon ). Science (Washington, D.C.) 181 (4095): 169-170

Stevens, J.D. 1994. Family Lamnidae. pp. 141-143 figs 112-114 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast . Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. [142]

White, W. 2008. Shark Families Heterodontidae to Pristiophoridae. pp. 32-100 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast . Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. [40]

Whitley, G.P. 1940. The Fishes of Australia. Part 1. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand . Sydney : Roy. Zool. Soc. N.S.W. 280 pp. 303 figs. [125] (as Carcharodon albimors )

Whitley, G.P. 1964. A survey of Australian Ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 89 (1): 11-127 [33] (85, as Carcharodon albimors )

Whitley, G.P. 1967. Sharks of the Australasian region. The Australian Zoologist 14 (2): 173-188 fig. 1 pl. 4 [179] (as Carcharodon albimors )


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. [239] ( White Shark )

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. [100] (FAO) (Great White Shark)

Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast . Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. [142] (White Death, White Pointer)

Seafood Services Australia 2008. Australian Fish Names Standard. ( White Shark )

Stead, D.G. 1963. Sharks and Rays of Australian Seas . Sydney : Angus & Robertson 211 pp. 63 figs. [200] (Grey Death, Grey Pointer)


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 20-Aug-2013 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 Lamniformes  
 Family Lamnidae  
 Genus Carcharodon  
  Carcharodon carcharias    (Linnaeus, 1758) 
Provider: Pofeng Lee& Shoou-Jeng Joung 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Carcharias atwoodi Carcharias lamia Carcharias maso Carcharias rondeletti Carcharias verus Carcharias vorax Carcharias vulgaris Carcharodon albimors Carcharodon capensis Carcharodon rondeletii Carcharodon smithi 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: Trunk fusiform and moderately slender to stout. Head shorter than trunk. Snout moderately long, pointed and conical, but not greatly elongated, flattened or bladelike. Gill openings large, extending onto dorsal surface of head, and all anterior to pectoral fin bases. Internal gill slits without gillrakers. Anterior and lateral teeth are narrow and awl or bladelike to broad, compressed and triangular. First dorsal fin large, high, erect and angular. Second dorsal and anal fin much smaller than 1st dorsal fin, and with pivoting bases. Pectoral fins long and narrow. Pelvic fins small, much smaller than 1st dorsal fin but larger than 2nd dorsal fin. Caudal fin lunate. Precaudal pits present, caudal peduncle strongly depressed and with strong keels. 
Habitat: This is a very active shark species. Its often occurs close inshore to the surfline and even penetrates shallow bays in continental coastal waters, but also prefers offshore continental islands. Ovoviviparous, a litter of 9 young was reported from Mediter 
Distribution: Western Atlantic from Newfoundland to Florida, Bahamas, Cuba, northern Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Eastern Atlantic from France to Mediterranean, Madeira, Canary Island, Senegal, Ghana, Zaire. Western Indian Ocean including South Africa, Seychel 
Utility: This species mostly taken as a bycatch of fisheries of other sharks and other fishes, by longlines, hook-and-line, fixed bottom gillnets, traps, herring weirs, trammel nets, harpoons, bottom and pelagic trawls, and purse seines. Utilized fresh, dried salt 
Name Code: 383125
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Number of matches : 7
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Carcharodon carcharias%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Animal") ORDER BY taxon

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Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias
Great White Shark
ID: 1338 3152 3388 0074 [detail]
W. I. Follett
© 2008 California Academy of Sciences

Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias
Great White Shark
ID: 0000 0000 1112 0964 [detail]
© 2012 Douglas Klug

Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias
Great White Shark
ID: 0000 0000 1112 0968 [detail]
© 2012 Douglas Klug

Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias
Great White Shark
ID: 0000 0000 1112 0969 [detail]
© 2012 Douglas Klug

Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias
Great White Shark
ID: 0000 0000 1112 0970 [detail]
© 2012 Douglas Klug

Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias
ID: 0000 2222 8695 3283 [detail]
© 2019 University of California Museum of Paleontology

Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias
ID: 0000 2222 8695 3282 [detail]
© 2019 University of California Museum of Paleontology

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