Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus limbatus)

Blacktip Shark

Other common names: blackfin (Guam, Micronesia, Trinidad and Tobago), black-tipped (Papua New Guinea), small blacktip (Cuba, Leeward Islands), and spot-fin ground shark (UK)
Scientific name: Carcharhinus limbatus


The blacktip shark has a stout body, has a long and pointed snout, and has no ridge between its dorsal fins. The pectoral, dorsal, pelvic, and caudal fins are black-tipped. The upper and lower teeth are serrated and almost symmetrical. Its first dorsal fin starts above the pectoral fin axil. The five pairs of gill slits are longer than those of other requiem sharks. The blacktip has a dark or bluish-gray back (color is paler in young sharks), with whitish stripes at its side.


Blacktips are often found inshore in large schools. They thrive in water less than 30 meters deep in the continental and insular shelves, though they dive as deep as 64 meters. Blacktips inhabit muddy bays, lagoons, and drop-offs near coral reefs. They can withstand less salty waters and enter estuaries and mangrove swamps. Though some blacktips can be found offshore, they do not live in the ocean. Seasonal migration have been recorded off the east coast, going north to North Carolina during summer and south to Florida in winter.

Florida locations:

These sharks are the most common species along the beaches in Florida.

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