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NEFSC Apex Predators Program

night shark Night shark

NIGHT SHARK

Carcharhinus signatus

SIZE

To about 9 ft (2.7 m).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Eyes large and green
  • Snout long and pointed
  • First dorsal fin small, originating over or behind free tips of pectoral fins
  • Teeth smooth-edged or finely serrated; upper teeth with increasingly oblique cusps, pronounced notch on outer margins with 2-5 coarse serrations
  • Color grayish-blue above, sometimes with small black spots; grayish-white below
  • Interdorsal ridge

DISTRIBUTION

Delaware to Florida, including Straits of Florida, Cuba, and Gulf of Mexico.

HABITAT

Offshore on or along outer continental and insular shelves; in waters 164-328 ft (50-100 m) or deeper (to 1,968 ft [600 m]).

SIMILAR SPECIES

Silky shark and dusky shark lack green eyes. Silky shark has more rounded, swept-back first dorsal fin. Spinner shark lacks interdorsal ridge.

MORE INFORMATION


Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

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(File Modified Aug. 08 2017)