Nebrius ferrugineus

Tawny Shark | Rusty Shark | Sleepy Shark | Tawny Nurse Shark
Nebrius ferrugineus
Nebrius ferrugineus, Photo: Graham Edgar
Nebrius ferrugineus
Nebrius ferrugineus, Coral Sea, QLD, Photo: Andrew Green
Nebrius ferrugineus
Nebrius ferrugineus, Photo: Ben Jones
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Nebrius ferrugineus
Nebrius ferrugineus
Nebrius ferrugineus


Tropical Eastern Pacific, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Large, grey bottom-dwelling shark with small eyes, two similar-sized dorsal fins, and 2 prominent barbels protruding from upper lip. Typically found sleeping in recesses on reef.


Max Size: 320 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 21.5-31.7°C

Depth: 0-70m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

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: Vulnerable

Occurrence: Infrequent (3.1% 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