Australian blacktip sharkCCB

Carcharhinus tilstoni

Carcharhinus tilstoni ventral head
Carcharhinus tilstoni upper and lower teeth

Characteristic features:

  • Dorsal and caudal fins with black tips (less evident in adults)
  • Interdorsal ridge absent
  • Snout moderately long and pointed; internarial space 1.2–1.4 times preoral snout length
  • First dorsal fin relatively high, its height <2.2 times in distance between dorsal fins
  • Upper labial furrows short, barely noticeable
  • Ventral surface of pelvic fins without distinct black tips


Dorsal surfaces bronze, fading to grey after death; a faint white stripe on each side. All fins (except sometimes anal and pelvic fins) black-tipped. Ventral surfaces almost white.


Maximum size up to 200 cm TL; birth size 55–60 cm TL.


Found only in northern Australia and mainland Papua New Guinea.


Pelagic over continental and coastal shelves, mostly close inshore, but sometimes more offshore. Found from the surface to at least 150 meters depth.


Feeds primarily on small bony fish, and also cephalopods. Often forms large aggregations. Length at maturity is 105–115 cm TL and 105–110 cm TL for females and males respectively. Age at maturity for Australian populations is around 3–4 years for both sexes. Reproductive mode is viviparous with yolk-sac placenta. Females give birth in January to 1–6 (average 3) pups after a 10 months gestation period; females breed every year. Maximum age reported for Australian populations is as at least 12 years for females and 8 years for males.

Indonesian fisheries:

Utilised for its fins and meat.

Similar species:

Carcharhinus limbatus
Common blacktip shark
Carcharhinus limbatus
Carcharhinus limbatus is almost identical to Carcharhinus tilstoni but differs in having more vertebral centra (precaudal central >92 vs. <91) and ventral pelvic fins with distinct black tips (vs. without distinct black tips).
Carcharhinus amblyrhynchoides
Graceful shark
Carcharhinus amblyrhynchoides
Carcharhinus amblyrhynchoides differs in having a more robust body (vs. more slender) and having a shorter snout (vs. longer).
Carcharhinus brevipinna
Spinner shark
Carcharhinus brevipinna
Carcharhinus brevipinna differs in having long and prominent labial furrows; and a longer snout (vs. snout shorter with very short labial furrows) and a relatively low first dorsal fin (vs. relatively tall).

External links:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM