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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Despite being relatively common in many parts of its range, little is known about the biology of the whitecheek shark (3). This species mainly feeds on fish, along with crustaceans and squid (1), which are snared by its numerous rear-angled, serrated-edged teeth (2). The whitecheek shark breeds throughout the year, with the female giving birth to an average of two live young, which are already almost half the size of the adult (4).
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Description

A widespread species, the whitecheek shark is the most common shark in the Arabian Gulf. Possessing the typical shark form, the whitecheek shark has a pointed snout, large front dorsal fin, greyish upperparts, and a white belly (2). The main distinguishing feature is the black spot on the second, smaller dorsal fin towards the shark's rear (2) (3).
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

A common but little-known shark found on the continental and insular inshore areas (Ref. 9997). Feeds mainly on fishes but also on cephalopods, and crustaceans (Ref. 6871). Viviparous (Ref. 50449), with a yolk-sac placenta; gives birth to litters of 1-4 (usually 2) pups (Ref.58048). Taken in artisanal and small-scale commercial fisheries and marketed for human consumption (Ref. 244). Fins also utilized (Ref. 6871).
  • White, W.T. 2012 A redescription of Carcharhinus dussumieri and C. sealei, with resurrection of C. coatesi and C. tjutjot as valid species (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae). Zootaxa 3241:1-34. (Ref. 89954)
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Distribution

Range Description

Widespread in coastal waters down to about 170 m depth eastwards from the Arabian Gulf to Taiwan and Japan. Possibly occurs throughout much of Indonesia, but only documented from around Java, Bali, Borneo and eastern Sumatra at this time (Last and Stevens 1994).
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Western Indian Ocean: from at least the Persian Gulf to India. Complete distributional range is unknown.
  • White, W.T. 2012 A redescription of Carcharhinus dussumieri and C. sealei, with resurrection of C. coatesi and C. tjutjot as valid species (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae). Zootaxa 3241:1-34. (Ref. 89954)
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Indo-West Pacific.
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Range

The whitecheek shark is distributed over a large range, extending from the Arabian Gulf, through the Indian Ocean and Indonesia, as far east as Taiwan and Japan, and south as far as northern Australia (1).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Vertebrae: 113 - 129
  • White, W.T. 2012 A redescription of Carcharhinus dussumieri and C. sealei, with resurrection of C. coatesi and C. tjutjot as valid species (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae). Zootaxa 3241:1-34. (Ref. 89954)
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Size

Maximum size: 1200 mm TL
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Max. size

120 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4883))
  • Bykov, V.P. 1983 Marine Fishes: Chemical composition and processing properties. New Delhi: Amerind Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 322 p. (Ref. 4883)
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Diagnostic Description

This small species is distinguished by the following characters: snout relatively long and narrowly rounded to almost pointed; upper anterior teeth are oblique and blade-like, coarsely serrated, with lateral margin deeply notched and with several large and serrated basal cusplets; lower anterior teeth are narrower, slightly oblique, lateral margins notched and usually without large basal serrae, finely serrated; total tooth row counts 27-29/24-30, or 52-59; interdorsal space often without a ridge, 17.9-20.8% TL; first dorsal fin relatively low and not falcate, origin over middle of pectoral-fin inner margin, length 14.3-16.2% TL, 1.4-1.6 times height, inner margin 2.2-2.5 in base; second dorsal fin is much smaller, broadly triangular, height 32-37% of first dorsal-fin height, origin about opposite anal fin origin; anal fin is slightly falcate, height 1.0-1.2 times second dorsal-fin height, base 0.9-1.1 times second dorsal fin base; body colour pale brownish dorsally, whitish ventrally; second dorsal fin with a black blotch on upper third of fin, not extending onto upper surface of body and very well defined from ground colour, while other fins mostly plain; total vertebral counts 123-138; monospondylous precaudal counts 42-48; diplospondylous precaudal counts 20; diplospondylous caudal counts 59-70; precaudal counts 62-68 (Ref. 89954).
  • White, W.T. 2012 A redescription of Carcharhinus dussumieri and C. sealei, with resurrection of C. coatesi and C. tjutjot as valid species (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae). Zootaxa 3241:1-34. (Ref. 89954)
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Description

Found on the continental and insular shelves, more commonly on inshore areas. Probably feeds on small fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Viviparous; 2 to 4 pups litter size; 38 to 39 cm at birth. Taken in artisanal and smallscale fisheries and marketed for human consumption.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is sometime confused with Carcharhinus sealei. It is a small species with a maximum reported length of 100 cm total length (TL), although specimens of up to about 90 cm TL are more common (Stevens and McLoughlin 1991). Males mature at about 64 to 74 cm TL; females at about 67 to 71 cm TL (Garrick 1982, Stevens and McLoughlin 1991). There are no data on the age at maturity or longevity of this species. The usual litter size is two, rarely four, with young born at about 40 cm TL. There does not appear to be a distinct seasonal reproductive cycle, with pregnant females recorded at all times of year. As almost all mature females are reported to be pregnant or spent at any one time, there appears to be a continuous reproductive cycle. There are no data on the gestation period, and it seems likely that, on average, only two offspring will be produced annually. Carcharhinus dussumieri feeds primarily on teleost fishes, with crustaceans and cephalopods of slightly lesser importance (Simpfendorfer and Milward 1993, Salini et al.r 1994). Other minor prey groups include molluscs, annelids and brachyurans (Salini et al. 1994).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range ? - 170 m (Ref. 6871)
  • Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens 1994 Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871)
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Depth range based on 195 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 106 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 11 - 168.5
  Temperature range (°C): 20.387 - 28.385
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.048 - 10.433
  Salinity (PPS): 33.899 - 36.410
  Oxygen (ml/l): 2.877 - 4.932
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.089 - 1.025
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.236 - 14.577

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 11 - 168.5

Temperature range (°C): 20.387 - 28.385

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.048 - 10.433

Salinity (PPS): 33.899 - 36.410

Oxygen (ml/l): 2.877 - 4.932

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.089 - 1.025

Silicate (umol/l): 1.236 - 14.577
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 170m.
Recorded at 170 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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The whitecheek shark is found in shallow, coastal waters, to a maximum depth of 170 metres (2) (3).
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Trophic Strategy

A common but little-known shark found on the continental and insular inshore areas (Ref. 9997). Feeds mainly on fishes but also on cephalopods, and crustaceans (Ref. 6871). A carnivore (Ref. 9137).
  • Salini, J.P., S.J.M. Blaber and D.T. Brewer 1994 Diets of trawled predatory fish of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, with particular reference to predation on prawns. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 45(3):397-411. (Ref. 6932)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Viviparous, placental (Ref. 50449). With 2 to 4 pups in a litter; 37-38 cm at birth (Ref. 244). Both male and females mature at about 70 cm (Ref. 6871). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205). No distinct seasonal reproductive cycle apparent, instead continuously breeding with most mature females pregnant or spent at any one time (Ref.58048).
  • Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p. (Ref. 205)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Carcharhinus dussumieri

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 8 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CTTTACCTGATTTTTGGTGCATGAGCAGGTATAGTCGGAACAGCCCTA---AGTCTCCTAATTCGAGCTGAACTTGGGCAACCTGGATCACTGTTAGGAGAT---GATCAGATTTATAATGTAGTCGTAACCGCCCATGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTTTTCATGGTTATACCAATTATAATTGGTGGTTTCGGAAACTGATTAGTTCCTTTAATA---ATTGGTGCACCAGATATAGCCTTCCCACGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTTCCACCATCATTTCTTCTTCTCCTTGCCTCTGCTGGAGTAGAAGCTGGAGCAGGTACTGGTTGAACAGTCTACCCTCCACTAGCTAGTAATCTAGCACATGCTGGGCCATCTGTTGATTTA---GCTATTTTCTCCCTTCATTTAGCCGGTGTTTCATCAATTTTAGCTTCAATTAATTTTATTACAACCATTATTAACATAAAACCACCAGCTATCTCCCAATACCAAACACCATTATTTGTTTGATCTATTCTTGTAACCACTATTCTTCTTCTCCTCTCACTTCCAGTTCTTGCAGCA---GGGATTACAATATTACTTACAGATCGTAACCTTAATACTACATTCTTTGATCCTGCAGGTGGAGGAGACCCAATCCTTTACCAACATTTA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Carcharhinus dussumieri

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 27
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Carcharhinus tjutjot

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2003
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Bennett, M.B. & Kyne, P.M. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)

Reviewer/s
Fowler, S. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Carcharhinus dussumieri has a wide tropical Indo-West Pacific distribution in coastal waters down to 170 m, and locally is one of the most common whaler sharks of northern Australia. This small species of shark is particularly susceptible to inshore fisheries, being caught commonly as bycatch in commercial trawling, artisanal fishing, hook-and-line fishing and gillnetting throughout its range. It has a low reproductive capacity, with a normal litter size of two, making it vulnerable to over-exploitation. It also enters the shark fin trade. Globally, this species fails to qualify for Vulnerable (VU A2acd), as while declines have been observed throughout part of its range, quantitative data are not available. In Australia this species is classified as Least Concern, as regional fishing pressure appears sustainable. However, continued fishing pressures throughout its range will result in further declines and populations require monitoring.
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Status

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).
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Population

Population
Inshore populations in much of the species' range have declined dramatically, with localised extirpations (L.J.V. Compagno, pers. comm). There is a relatively large population in northern Australia at this time, based on its continued appearance in trawl fisheries and gill-net fisheries as a major component of the bycatch.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The major threat to this species is from fisheries in relatively shallow shelf and inshore waters throughout the whole of its range. As a small shark (40-90 cm TL) it is caught by gillnetting, hook-and-line fishing and trawling. In northern Australia it commonly comprises about 2-3% of trawl catch by biomass (Russell and Houston 1989). While the population in Northern Australia appears fairly robust, there is evidence of severe depletions, including local extirpations, of this species in coastal waters throughout parts of its range in Asia (L.J.V. Compagno, pers. comm.).
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Near Threatened (NT)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Large numbers of whitecheek shark are caught throughout its range, both for human consumption, and as bycatch (1) (3). Being a coastal species, the whitecheek shark falls within numerous commercial and local fishing areas, where its small size means that it falls victim to all commonly used fishing techniques, including gillnetting, hook and line, and trawling. Given the low numbers of offspring produced by the whitecheek shark, it is unlikely to be able to reproduce fast enough to cope with current levels of exploitation in certain parts of its range. Consequently, in heavily fished waters this species has suffered population declines, and even local extinctions (1).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The life history characteristics of this species, together with its small size, make local populations particularly sensitive to fishing-induced declines. It is caught by all commonly used fishing techniques (mainly as bycatch), making it difficult to conserve without recourse to ?no-fishing zones?. The size of closed areas that would be needed to conserve this species is not known. Data need be collected on movement patterns of individuals (e.g., seasonal, reproductive migrations, diurnal movements) to assess the viability of such an approach.
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Conservation

There are no current conservation measures targeted specifically towards the whitecheek shark. As such a common and widely caught bycatch species, effective conservation strategies would need to employ “no-fishing zones” in order to prevent further declines. Unfortunately, given the current lack of information about this species' movement patterns, it is not yet possible to determine how large these zones would have to be and, therefore, if their creation would be practical (1).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial
  • Coppola, S.R., W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, N. Scialabba and K.E. Carpenter 1994 SPECIESDAB: Global species database for fishery purposes. User's manual. FAO Computerized Information Series (Fisheries). No. 9. Rome, FAO. 103 p. (Ref. 171)
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Wikipedia

Carcharhinus tjutjot

Carcharhinus tjutjot, also known as the Indonesian whaler shark is a species of requiem shark, belonging to the family Carcharhinidae. Until recently, it was thought to be a junior synonym of the whitecheek shark (C. dussumieri).

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Whitecheek shark

The whitecheek shark or widemouth blackspot shark (Carcharhinus dussumieri), is a requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae, found in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean between latitudes 34° N and 25° S. It can reach a length of 1 m. It feeds mainly on fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. It is a viviparous species, with the female giving birth to up to four live young.

Description[edit]

The whitecheek shark grows to a length of about 100 centimetres (39 in). It has a slender body and long head with rounded snout. The eyes are oval and both jaws have multiple rows of backward pointing, serrated teeth. The pectoral fins are long, narrow and curved and have narrow pointed tips. The first dorsal fin is triangular, uncurved and moderate-sized, and the second dorsal fin is much smaller than the first and bears a large black patch at its apex. The whitecheek shark's dorsal (upper) surface is grey or brownish-grey while its ventral (under) surface is pale.[2][3]

Distribution[edit]

The whitecheek shark is native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean where it is found on continental shelves and inshore slopes around islands down to depths of about 170 metres (560 ft). Its range extends from the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf to Java, Indonesia, Japan and Australia.[2]

Behaviour[edit]

The whitecheek shark mostly feeds on fish but also eats octopus, squid and various crustaceans including crabs. It sometimes picks off molluscs and worms from the seabed.[2]

It is a common species but not well known, and it is sometimes confused with the blackspot shark (Carcharhinus sealei). Both males and females mature when they are about 70 centimetres (28 in) long. Females are viviparous and breeding takes place throughout the year, with females normally being either pregnant or having recently given birth. One to four, but usually two pups are retained in the uterus where they feed from a yolksac.[2] They are about 38 centimetres (15 in) at the time of birth.[2][3]

Status[edit]

The IUCN lists the whitecheek shark as "Near Threatened" in its Red List of Threatened Species. This is because it is often caught in shallow-water fisheries by rod and line, gillnetting and trawling. Its population trend seems to be decreasing and it is facing local extinction in some parts of its range. It is usually caught as bycatch rather than as the target species and in Australian waters makes up around 2 to 3% of the total biomass caught.[1] It is not harmful to man and its flesh is marketed for human consumption.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bennett, M. B.; Kyne, P. M. (2003-04-30). "Carcharhinus dussumieri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pollerspöck, Jürgen. "Carcharhinus dussumieri". Catalog of Fishes. SharkReference.com. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  3. ^ a b c "Whitecheek shark (Carcharhinus dussumieri)". Sharks of the World. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
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