Blacktip Reef Shark

The Blacktip Reef Shark, also known as the Carcharhinus Limbatus, gets its name from the pointed snout and black tips on its fins (especially its dorsal fin). This is considered one of the most beautiful sharks in the Ocean and are seen often by divers since this species prefers shallow waters.

Blacktip Reef Shark Image

This fella is at most 2.9 meters (9.5ft) in length, but is usually closer to 1.6 meters (5ft). They weigh about 130 kilograms (286 pounds) as adults.


The Blacktip Reef Shark is found in warm, shallow water near coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean Sea with depths of up to 80 meters (262 feet). This is a tropical and subtropical fish. It’s mostly found in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Western and Eastern Pacific. Their preferred water temperature is from 15C to 24C (59F to 75F), so most of the time they stay in shallow waters and near the surface, with a maximum depth of 70 meters (229 feet).

Blacktip Reef Shark Habitat Map

Blacktip Reef Shark Habitat Map


Social Life And Behavior

This shark species is very social and mostly found in larger groups with a strong hierarchy. Scientists believe a major reason for building groups is because these sharks tend to be very shy and timid towards other predators. Their philosophy is power in numbers.

Hunting Behavior

These are athletic and energetic hunters. They have a spectacular technique in which they catapult their body out of the water and rotate themselves the to four times before falling back into the water. It’s unclear why exactly they do this, but it’s often associated with hunting. They love to hunt for small fish like sardines and herrings, groupers, rays, and smaller sharks.

Video Of Blacktip Reef Sharks Feeding


Interestingly enough, females are able to reproduce asexually if males are not available. They are Viviparous, meaning they give live birth to up to 10 pups per year. They reach maturity at an average age of about 4 years old for males and 7 years old for females. Most live to 13 years of age, sometimes longer.

Human Interaction

The Blacktip Reef Shark population has remained about even in recent years, even with commercial and game fishing. Their body parts are often used for fish fin soup and are harvested of shark oil, liver, and their flesh is considered a delicacy in many cultures. Since their reproductive rate is slower than most sharks, it’s a species of concern.

The attack rate on humans is exceedingly low, but since they often swim in the same areas as people, conflicts have happened. There are no known fatal attacks on humans without provocation. It’s important to note that these sharks are easily spooked. When threatened, they form an S-Shape with their bodies and roll from side to side.

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