Grey reef sharkAML

Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos

Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ventral head
Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos upper and lower teeth

Characteristic features:

  • Entire posterior edge of caudal fin with wide black border
  • Interdorsal ridge weak or absent
  • First dorsal fin relatively tall, its origin well over pectoral-fin inner margins
  • Snout broadly rounded
  • Upper teeth long, narrowly triangular, with a notch on one edge
  • Lower teeth narrow, upright, edges weakly serrated


Dorsal surfaces bronze to greyish, becoming grey after death; a faint white stripe along side of body. Caudal fin with broad black posterior margin; first dorsal fin plain, sometimes with a white tip; other fins with dusky tips. Ventral surfaces almost white.


Maximum size up to 225 cm TL but rarely above 180 cm TL; birth size 45–64 cm TL.


Widespread in the tropical Indo-west and central Pacific, from south eastern Africa to the central Pacific islands.


Among the most common shark species found on coral reefs; found mostly near deep drop-offs and reef passes. Found to at least 280 meters depth.


Feeds primarily on small bony fish, but also cephalopods and crustaceans. Length at maturity is 130–140 cm TL for both sexes. Age at maturity is around 6 years and 9 years for females and males respectively. Reproductive mode is viviparous with yolk-sac placenta. females give birth to 1–6 pups after a 12–14 months gestation period. Maximum age reported as at least 15 years in Papua New Guinea. Becomes aggressive when provoked and can be potentially dangerous to humans.

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught by shark longline and inshore gillnet fisheries, and possibly adversely affected by dynamite fishing. Utilised for fins, meat, skin and cartilage.

Similar species:

Carcharhinus albimarginatus
Silvertip shark
Carcharhinus albimarginatus
Carcharhinus albimarginatus differs in having a more robust body (vs. more slender) and a moderately short snout (vs. snout moderately long).

External links:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM