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Stegostoma fasciatum (Hermann, 1783)
Leopard Shark; Stegostoma tigrinum Pennant, 1764; Stegostoma varium Seba, 1758; Squalus tigrinus Forster, 1781; Squalus varium Seba, 1758; Stegostoma tigrinum naucum Whitley, 1939; Squalus fasciatum Hermann, 1783

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You are here:  Environment home » Biodiversity » ABRS » AFD » ANIMALIA (Kingdom) » CHORDATA (Phylum) » VERTEBRATA (Subphylum) » GNATHOSTOMATA (Higher Taxon) » PISCES (Higher Taxon) » CHONDRICHTHYES (Class) » ELASMOBRANCHII (Subclass) » ORECTOLOBIFORMES (Order) » STEGOSTOMATIDAE (Family) » Stegostoma Müller & Henle, 1837 (Genus) » Stegostoma fasciatum (Hermann, 1783)

Species Stegostoma fasciatum (Hermann, 1783)


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CAAB : 37013006 Taxon concept Stegostoma_fasciatum last modified 2016-07-15 13:04:15.426

Species Stegostoma fasciatum (Hermann, 1783)

Zebra Shark , Leopard Shark


Taxonomic Decision for Synonymy


Generic Combinations



Note that two names are commonly in use for this species: Stegostoma varium and Stegostoma fasciatum (see Goto 2001). We follow Last & Stevens (2009) here.




New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Port Gregory, WA (28º11´S) to Montague Island, NSW (36º15´S) and several islands of the Coral Sea; tropical, Indo-west Pacific.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Timor Transition (1), Central Eastern Transition (15), Northeast Province (18), Northeast Transition (19), Cape Province (20), Northern Shelf Province (25), Northwest Shelf Transition (26), Northwest Shelf Province (27), Central Western Shelf Transition (28), Central Western Shelf Province (29), Southwest Shelf Transition (30), Southeast Shelf Transition (37), Central Eastern Shelf Province (38), Central Eastern Shelf Transition (39), Northeast Shelf Province (40), Northeast Shelf Transition (41)

Ecological Descriptors

Benthic, coral reef, inshore, marine, rock reef.


General References

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia . Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. [40]

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. [200]

Compagno, L.J.V. 1998. Families Ginglymostomatidae, Stegostomatidae, Rhincodontidae. pp. 1260-1263 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. [1262]

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. [187]

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World . London : Collins 368 pp. [173]

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes . Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. [32]

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers . Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. [22, 119]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. [138]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia . Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. [152]

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part I. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5 : 1–144 [7] (as Stegostoma tigrinum )

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] [5] (31)

Stead, D.G. 1963. Sharks and Rays of Australian Seas . Sydney : Angus & Robertson 211 pp. 63 figs. [199] (as Stegastoma tigrinum )

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. [84] (as Stegostoma tigrinum naucrum )

Whitley, G.P. 1964. A survey of Australian Ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 89 (1): 11-127 [33] (28, as Stegostoma tigrinum )


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. [201] ( Zebra Shark )

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. [15] (Leopard Shark)

Seafood Services Australia 2008. Australian Fish Names Standard. ( Zebra 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-Apr-2012 15-Jul-2016 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 Orectolobiformes  
 Family Stegostomatidae  
 Genus Stegostoma  
  Stegostoma fasciatum    (Hermann, 1783) 
Provider: Pofeng Lee& Shoou-Jeng Joung 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Scyllia quinquecornuatum Scyllium heptagonum Squalus cirrosus Squalus fasciatus Squalus longicaudus Squalus pantherinus Squalus tigrinus Squalus tygrinus Squalus varius Stegastoma fasciatum Stegastoma varium 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: Body elongated, compressed, caudal slightly less than 1/2 of total length in adult, more than 1/2 in young. A small transverse mouth in front of eyes. Snout very broad rounded or truncated. Eyes laterally situated on head, without subocular pockets. Two spinless dorsal fin, the 1st dorsal fin much larger than the 2nd dorsal fin and with its origin far forward on back. Pectoral large, its outer margin little less than length of head. Sides of the body with prominent ridges, but no strong lateral keels on the caudal peduncle. Young sharks are dark brown above, yellowish below, with vertical yellow stripes and spots breaking the dorsal coloration into dark saddles. 
Habitat: This is a tropical inshore shark, of the continental and insular shelves of the Indo-West Pacific, that is very common on coral reefs. Oviparous, size of maximum total length possibly 354 cm. Males mature between 147-183 cm, females between 169-233. Size  
Distribution: Indo-West Pacific from south Africa and Red Sea to Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Kampuchea, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia. 
Utility: This is a common shark in the indo-West Pacific, regularly taken in inshore fisheries in Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, and elsewhere where it occurs. It is usually caught in bottom trawls, gill-nets, and with longlines and other line gear. 
Name Code: 383138
  IUCN Red List:EN  A2bd+3bd      Marine     
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Stegostoma fasciatum
Stegostoma fasciatum
Zebra Shark
ID: 0000 0000 0105 2713 [detail]
© 2005 Joseph Dougherty/

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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Stegostoma fasciatum (Hermann , 1783)

Zebra shark Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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Picture by Randall, J.E.

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

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Orectolobiformes (Carpet sharks) > Stegostomatidae (Zebra sharks)
Etymology: Stegostoma: Greek, stego = cover + Greek, stoma = mouth (Ref. 45335 ) .

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

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 0 - 90 m (Ref. 106604 ), usually 5 - 30 m (Ref. 1602 ).   Tropical; 26°C - 29°C (Ref. 4959 ); 41°N - 30°S, 32°E - 169°W

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

Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to New Caledonia and Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales, Australia. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797 ). Also from Persian Gulf (Ref. 247 ).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ? , range 170 - ? cm
Max length : 354 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 58048 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines : 0; Anal soft rays : 0. Head with 5 small gill slits, the last three behind pectoral fin origin; nostril close to front of snout, with short barbels and nasoral grooves connecting them with the mouth (Ref. 4832 ).Very long caudal fin, almost as long as the rest of the body, with a deep subterminal notch but with the lower lobe hardly developed (Ref.13575, 6871 ). Yellow-brown with dark brown spots (Ref. 391 ), young black with yellow bars (Ref. 5578 ). Adults with longitudinal skin ridges which are lacking in young (Ref. 391 ). Juveniles smaller than about 70 cm, markedly different; dark with white bars and spots; pale ventrally (Ref. 6781 ). Pectoral fins large and broadly rounded (Ref. 6871 ).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A tropical inshore shark found on sand, rubble, or coral bottoms of the continental and insular shelves (Ref. 247 ). Recorded to have entered freshwater (Ref. 4735 ). Rather sluggish at least during the day (Ref. 247 ). Probably nocturnal, feeds mainly on mollusks, but also small bony fishes (Ref. 9993 ). Also known to eat crustaceans (crabs and shrimps) and sea snakes (Ref. 43278 ). Oviparous (Ref. 43278 , 50449 ). Slow-swimming and able to squirm into narrow cracks, crevices and channel in reefs while searching for food (Ref. 247 ). Readily kept in captivity (Ref. 247 ). May bite when provoked (Ref. 247 ). Utilized fresh and dried-salted for human consumption and also for fishmeal; livers processed for vitamins; fins dried for the oriental sharkfin trade; offal utilized for fishmeal (Ref. 247 ). Possibly reaching 354 cm TL (Ref. 9993 , 47613 ). Caught in drift net intended for sharks (Ref. 47736 ). Reported from freshwater in the Philippines but needs to be confirmed (Ref. 43278 ).

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

Oviparous (Ref. 247 ). Egg cases are large, dark brown or purplish black, with longitudinal striations (Ref. 6871 ). Size at birth 20-26 cm TL (Ref. 9993 ).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | 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 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome, FAO. (Ref. 247 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744 )

  Endangered (EN)  (A2bd+3bd); Date assessed: 18 February 2015

CITES (Ref. 115941 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 247 )

Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes FAO(fisheries: 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 | 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 of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 24.2 - 28.8, mean 27.6 (based on 956 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 1.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  3.1   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies. Resilience (Ref. 69278 ):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100). Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Very high vulnerability (77 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Unknown .

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