- Second dorsal, pectoral and lower caudal fins strikingly black tipped
- Second dorsal fin very low with an extremely long inner margin (exceeding twice fin height)
- Interdorsal ridge present
- Snout moderately long and pointed
- Upper teeth with oblique cusp, with strong cusplets on one side
- Lower teeth narrow, oblique, without cusplets
Dorsal surfaces bronze, fading to brownish grey to grey after death; a pale stripe on each side. Pectoral, second dorsal and lower caudal fins with distinct black tips; first dorsal and upper caudal fins with dusky margins. Ventral surfaces almost white.
Maximum size up to 160 cm TL; birth size 45 – 60 cm TL.
Found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from south-eastern Africa to Solomon Islands and northwards to southern Japan.
Found mostly in shallow water over muddy bottoms but also near coral reefs; usually in midwater or near the surface. Found from the intertidal zone down to at least 140 meters depth.
Feeds primarily on small bony fish, but also crustacean and cephalopods (mainly octopuses). Length at maturity is 90 – 95 for both sexes. Age at maturity is 2 – 3 years for both sexes. Reproductive mode is viviparous with yolk-sac placenta. In Australia females give birth in January after a 10 month gestation period and breed every year. Litter size is 1 – 8 (3 average) pups. Newborns are found in shallower water, segregated from adults. Population genetic studies have shown that Indonesian and northern Australian populations are not shared. Maximum age reported as at least 7 and 5 years for females and males respectively.
Common catch of the shark longline and inshore gillnet fisheries. Utilised for its fins and meat, skin and cartilage, but is of limited value due to its small size.
Commonly confused with the black-tipped species
Common blacktip shark
Australian blacktip shark