Whitetip Reef Shark
Scientic name..........Triaenodon Obesus
Whitetip reef sharks are fairly slender, with conspicuous white
tips on the first dorsal and upper caudal fins, and should not be
confused with the larger oceanic whitetip shark. They have a very
broad short snout, oval eyes, first dorsal fin behind pectorals,
second dorsal nearly as large as the first, no interdorsal ridge.
These sharks can grow up to a maximum length of 7 feet, (2.2m), but
rarely more than 5.2 feet, (1.6m). They are born at approximately 20
to 23 inches (52-60cm).
They have medium-sized, pointed teeth with smooth edges, and are
flanked with small edges.
Whitetip reef sharks are a greyish-brown shark with brilliant, very
conspicuous tips on first dorsal and upper caudal fin. The underside
lighter, sometimes scattered dark spots on sides.
They specialise in capturing bottom prey in crevices, holes and
caves in coral heads and ledges, located by scent and sound,
sometimes in packs. Because of their tooth structure and short broad
snout they can pursue prey into reef crevices, where they cannot
Whitetip reef sharks are nocturnal, so they are more active at night
and during slack tide. They have a small home range occupied for
months or years. These sharks are social but not territorial as they
can share home range without conflict. They can become accustomed to
the sounds of boats and to spear fishers, and are aroused by the
presence of divers, approaching them out of curiosity. So they are
readily attracted to bait and may be handfed by divers, but with
Red Sea, Indian Ocean, central Pacific, and tropical eastern
Pacific. They are found on continental and island terraces. Usually
found on or near bottom crevices or caves in coral reefs, and in
coral lagoons in shallow clear water. These sharks are most commonly
found close to shore at depths of 36 to 130 feet ( 8-40m), but
ranging from 3.2ft. to 1082.7 ft.(1-330m).
Whitetip reef sharks are viviparous, and bear litters of 1 to 5
pups, (commonly 2 to 3 ) after a short gestation period of least
five months, and are approximately 20 to 24 inches long ( 50-60cm ).
It has been estimated that these sharks mature in 5 years, and their
longevity is at least 25 years.
Potentially dangerous, but rarely aggressive only if they are
mistreated. Although some foolhardy divers have lost a hand when
feeding members squid and fish.
Often very common, but restricted depth range and habitat and small
litter size suggest that increasing fishing pressure may be a