Alopias vulpinus   (Bonnaterre,  1788) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Elasmobranchii

Image copyrights: Steele, MA

Max. length : 760 cm TL (male/unsexed); 549 cm TL (female); common length : 450 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Max. weight reported: 348.0 kg

Color: Brown, grey, blue-grey, or blackish on back and underside of snout, lighter on sides and abruptly white below; a white area extends from the abdomen over the pectoral-fin bases; pectoral-, pelvic-, and dorsal fins blackish, white dots sometimes present on pectoral-, pelvic-, and caudal- fin tips.

Body fusiform; snout partly conic, blunt. Caudal peduncle compressed. Head 4.3, depth of body 4.5, both to subcaudal origin. Width of mouth about 1.2 in preoral length. Eye without nictitating membrane. Teeth compressed, triangular, edges smooth. Origin of dorsal midway between pectoral insertion and ventral insertion and nearer to tip of snout than to subcaudal origin. Pectoral falcate, 1.4 times head. Upper lobe of caudal fin greatly enlarged, longer than head or body; lower lobe short but well developed.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Ovoviviparous, embryos feed solely on the ova produced by the mother after the yolk sac is absorbed (oophagy), 2 to 4 young in a litter (usually 2). Size at birth 114-150 cm. Distinct pairing with embrace.

Max. age reported: 25 years

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Alopecias barrae Perez Canto, 1886
(Junior synonym)
Alopecias chilensis Philippi, 1902
(Junior synonym)
Alopecias longimana Philippi, 1902
(Junior synonym)
Alopecias vulpes Gmelin, 1789
(Junior synonym)
Alopias caudatus Phillipps, 1932
(Junior synonym)
Alopias greyi Whitley, 1937
(Junior synonym)
Alopias pelagicus (non Nakamura, 1935)
(Misapplied name)
Alopias superciliosus (non Lowe, 1841)
(Misapplied name)
Alopias vulpes Day, 1888
Alopias vulpes Day, 1889
Alopias vulpes Gmelin, 1789
(Junior synonym)
Alopias vulpinus Chu, 1931
Alopias vulpinus Fowler, 1941
Alopias vulpinus Misra, 1958
Alopias vulpinus Misra, 1952
Alopias vulpinus Misra, 1949
Alopias vulpinus Munro, 1955
Alopias vulpinus Smith, 1953
Carcharias vulpes Gmelin, 1988
(Junior synonym)
Galeus vulpecula Rafinesque, 1810
(Junior synonym)
Squalus alopecias Gronow, 1854
(Junior synonym)
Squalus vuipinus Bonnaterre, 1788
Squalus vulpes Gmelin, 1789
(Junior synonym)
Squalus vulpinus Bonnaterre, 1788
(Original combination)
Vulpecula marina Garman, 1913
(Junior synonym)
Alopias macrourus Rafinesque, 1810

Common Name (s)
• Thresher Shark (English)
• Big Eye Thresher (English)
• Nigudigumiyaru (Mahl)
• Fox Shark (English)
• Common thresher (English)
• Long-tailed shark (English)
• Sea ape (English)
• Sea fox (English)
• Slasher (English)
• Thintail thresher (English)
• Thrasher shark (English)
• Tresher (English)
• Whiptail shark (English)
• Man-eating Shark (English)
• Makorel Shark (English)
• Magru
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish. Valued for its meat, liver, hide, and fins; utilized fresh, dried-salted, smoked, and frozen.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Highly vulnerable to overfishing in a short period of time.)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Schooling fishes (including mackerels, bluefishes, clupeids, needlefishes, lancetfishes and lanternfishes), squid, octopi, pelagic crustaceans, and rarely seabirds
IUCN Status:  Data Deficient


• Lakshadweep (Lat: 8) (Long: 75) INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi INDIA (Record: 2000-2002)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Gulf of Aden
• Gujarat INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
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  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
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  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 -
  • Hanfee, F (1999) Management of shark fisheries in two Indian coastal states: Tamil Nadu and Kerala Case studies of the management of elasmobranch fisheries. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 378 Rome, FAO Part 1 (11) 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 -
  • Dr(Mrs.) Anisa Basheer (1989) Some common Indian Marine Fishes Marine Biology Mrs Shashi Jain, Pointer Publishers, Jaipur, India 66-104 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 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 -
  • Bapat, SV; Deshmukh, VM; Krishnamoorthi, B; Muthiah, C; Kagwade, PV; Ramamirtham, CP; Mathew, KJ; Pillai, SK and C. Mukundan (1982) Species composition, distribution and abundance of major groups/species Fishery resources of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the NorthWest coast of India Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Kochi 33 1-86 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Dholakia, AD (2004) Marine resources Fisheries and aquatic resources of India Daya publishing house 271-303 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Elasmobranch Fishes Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2011-12-22

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