Carcharhinus leucas

Bullshark CCE
Characteristic features:

Dorsal surfaces grey with a faint white stripe on each side. Fins mostly plain in adults. Juveniles with dusky to black fin tips and upper caudal fin with a narrow dark posterior margin. Ventral surfaces almost white.


Maximum size up to ~340 cm TL; birth size 56–81 cm TL.


Circumglobal in tropical and warm temperate seas, also in fresh and brackish water in rivers and lakes.


A coastal, estuarine, riverine and lacustrine shark, occurring near the bottom to depths of ~150 m.


Diet consists of a wide variety of prey including fish, turtles, birds, dolphins, terrestrial mammals, crocodiles, crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms, but prefers bony fish, sharks and rays. A very dangerous shark with an extremely aggressive nature, especially in murky waters where it is often found. In clear water it appears less aggressive to humans and so has become popular for dive ecotourism in some areas with good visibility. Length at maturity is at least ~230, and ~220 cm TL for females and males respectively. Reproductive mode is viviparous with yolk-sac placenta with a gestation period lasting between 10–11 months. Females give birth to 1–13 pups in estuaries and river mouths; young remain in river systems for up to 5 years.

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught occasionally by shark longline, tangle net and inshore gillnet fisheries. Utilised for its fins (high value in adults), meat, skin, jaws and cartilage.

Similar species:

Carcharhinus amboinensis
Pigeye shark

Carcharhinus amboinensis

Carcharhinus amboinensis differs in having a higher first dorsal fin relative to second dorsal dorsal fin (vs. lower first dorsal fin relative to second) and an anal fin with a less acute posterior margin forming and angle of more than 90° (vs. more acute, less than 90°).

Glyphis gangeticus
Ganges shark

Glyphis gangeticus differs in having a tall second dorsal fin, with the first dorsal-fin height twice 2nd dorsal-fin height (vs. a much shorter second dorsal fin, with the first dorsal-fin height up to 3 times 2nd dorsal-fin height); precaudal pits longitudinal and relatively shallow (vs. transverse, deep and crescentic).

Carcharhinus tilstoni
Australian blacktip shark

Carcharhinus tilstoni

Carcharhinus tilstoni differs in having snout moderately long and pointed (vs. short and broadly rounded) and upper teeth with narrow erect cusps (vs. broad cusps).

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