Carcharhinus melanopterus

Blacktip reef shark
Carcharhinus melanopterus
Carcharhinus melanopterus, adult, Tuamotus, Photo: Antonia Cooper
Carcharhinus melanopterus
Carcharhinus melanopterus, adult, French Polynesia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Carcharhinus melanopterus
Carcharhinus melanopterus, adult, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Carcharhinus melanopterus
Carcharhinus melanopterus
Carcharhinus melanopterus


Temperate Australasia, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Jet black tip to dorsal fin with broad light bar below, and grey body becoming pale below. Common on shallow coastal reefs.


Max Size: 200 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 22.2-31.5°C

Depth: 0-75m

Habitat Generalization Index: 2.92

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Occurrence: Infrequent (4.0% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: extract from RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland