Carcharhinus falciformis   (Muller & Henle,  1839) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Elasmobranchii

Image copyrights: Doug Perrine

Size: Maximum 350 cm TL; common to 250 cm

Max. weight reported: 346.0 kg

Color: Grey or bluish-grey above, white below; no conspicuous fin markings.

A large shark, with an elongate and slender body. Snout narrowly rounded, moderately long, equal to or slightly shorter than mouth width, but longer than internasal space; labial folds very short; anterior nasal flaps low, rudimentary; spiracles absent; upper teeth with relatively narrow cusps well delimited from the heavy, serrated bases, their outer edges notched; teeth in lower jaw erect, their edges only slightly serrated. First dorsal fin moderately high, its apex rounded, its origin behind the free rear tips of pectoral fins; second dorsal fin very low, its posterior lobe noticeably long and slender, its inner margin twice the height of fin; origin of second dorsal fin about over that of anal fin; pectoral fins long and falcate, more so in adults than in young; a dermal ridge present between the dorsal fins.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Viviparous, placental. 2-15 pups born at 57-87 cm TL; 1-16 pups born at 55-72 cm TL. Females appear to breed every year, but there appears to be no reproductive seasonality. Distinct pairing with embrace.

Max. age reported: 25 years

It is quick-moving and aggressive. Solitary.

Synonym (s)
Carcharhinus falciformes (Muller & Henle, 1839)
Aprionodon sitankaiensis Herre, 1934
(Junior synonym)
Carcharhinus atrodorsus Deng, Xiong & Zhan, 1981
(Junior synonym)
Carcharhinus falciformis (Muller & Henle, 1839)
(Senior synonym)
Carcharhinus floridanus Bigelow, Schroeder & Springer, 1943
(Junior synonym)
Carcharhinus menisorrah (Muller & Henle, 1839)
(Junior synonym)
Carcharias falciformis Muller & Henle, 1839
(Senior synonym)
Carcharias falcipinnis Lowe, 1839
(Ambiguous synonym)
Carcharias menisorrah Muller & Henle, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Eulamia malpeloensis Fowler, 1944
(Junior synonym)
Eulamia menisorrah (Muller & Henle, 1839)
(Junior synonym)
Gymnorhinus pharaonis Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1899
(Junior synonym)
Prionodon tiburo (Poey, 1860)
(Ambiguous synonym)
Squalus tiburo Poey, 1860
(Ambiguous synonym)
Carcharius menisorrah Muller & Henle, 1839
Carcharins menisorrah Muller & Henle, 1839

Common Name (s)
• Silky Shark (English)
• Blackspot Shark (English)
• Moosi (Gujarati)
• Tharvat (Kannada)
• Mandi Sravu (Malayalam)
• Mushi (Marathi)
• Karimuthu Sura (Telugu)
• Suga Sura (Telugu)
• Sravu (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries. Flesh utilized fresh and dried-salted for human consumption; its hide for leather; its fin for shark-fin soup; its liver for oil.
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(It is caught in large numbers as bycatch in oceanic fisheries. It is also landed for its meat and fins by multi-species shark fisheries. Its reproductive capacity is limited.)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Reef Associated, Open Sea, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Finfishes, catfishes, mullets, mackerel, yellowfin tuna, albacore, squid, paper nautiluses, and pelagic crabs
IUCN Status:  NearThreatened


• Kerala, Kochi INDIA (Record: 2000-2002)
• Kerala, Kochi Fisheries Harbour INDIA (Record: 01/2008-06/2009)

Literature Source(s)
  • Joshi, KK; Balachandran, K and Raje, SG (2008) Changes in the shark fishery at Cochin Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 50(1) 103-105 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Discover life Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at -
  • Raje, SG; Sivakami, S; Mohanraj, G; Manoj Kumar, PP; Raju, A and Joshi, KK (2007) An atlas on the Elasmobranch fishery resources of India CMFRI Special publication CMFRI, Cochin, India. 95 253pp Available at -
  • Akhilesh, KV; Ganga, U; Pillai, NGK; Vivekanandan, E; Bineesh, KK; Shanis, CPR and Hashim, M (2011) Deep-sea fishing for chondrichthyan resources and sustainability concerns-a case study from southwest coast of India Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences NISCAIR 40(3) 347-355 Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-02-17

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