Despite the docile nature of this shark during the day, during feeding at night they become very aggressive. It will thrash through coral reefs looking for food. The whitetip reef shark usually hunts alone but will work with other sharks to pursue prey throughout the coral reefs. Sometimes in pursuit of a fish, the shark will wedge the front half of its body into a crack or crevice on the reef and stay there until it catches the fish. The whitetip reef shark is considered clumsy and slow in open water, however it is still considered a pelagic predator. It is capable of catching fish in coral reefs because of its maneuverability. Despite its ability to catch fish, it specializes in bottom feeding. Its ventrally located mouth is ideal for picking crab, lobster and octopi off the sea floor, but its primary source of food is several types of boney fishes including but not restricted to damselfish (Pomacentridae), parrotfish (Scaridae), surgeonfish (Acanthuridae), goatfish (Mullidae), triggerfish (Balistidae), squirrelfish (Holocentridae) and eels (Anguilliformes).
Animal Foods: fish; aquatic crustaceans
Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore )
- Russo, R. 1984. Whitetip - the cave shark. Sea Frontiers, 30/1: 30-36.