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

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: Max. length 160 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Max. weight reported: 28.0 kg

Color: Dark gray black on back, belly whitish; conspicuous black tips on pectorals, second dorsal and lower caudal lobe.

Body relatively slender. Snout short and moderately broad, its length equal to mouth width; labial folds rudimentary. Upper and lower teeth nearly symmetrical and very similar, with oblique and narrow cusps, well delimited from bases; cusps of upper and lower teeth serrated. First dorsal fin with a narrowly rounded or pointed apex, its origin over pectoral insertions, inner margin of first dorsal fin moderately elongated; second dorsal fin very low, with greatly enlarged inner margin, 2 to 3 times fin height; pectoral fins falcate. A huge dermal ridge present between dorsal fins.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, bearers, internal live bearers. Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta. Pups, average 3, range 1-8, are produced in January after a 10-month gestation period. Average length at birth is 50 cm TL. Length increases by about 25 cm during the first year. These sharks breed once each year. Distinct pairing with embrace.

Max. age reported: 8 years

Synonym (s)
Carcharhinus melanopterus Jordan & Snyder, 1901
Carcharhinus bleekeri Misra, 1969
Carcharias marianensis Engelhardt, 1912
Carcharias sorrah Day, 1889
Carcharias sorrah Muller & Henle, 1841
Carcharias sorrah Perugia, 1889
Carcharias sorrah Sorely, 1933
Charcharhinus sorrah Misra & Menon, 1958
Eulamia sorrah Bertin, 1938
Eulamia sorrah Fowler, 1928
Eulamia sorrah Fowler, 1930
Eulamia sorrah Garman, 1913
Eulamia sorrah Misra, 1952
Carcharias (Prionodon) sorrah Muller and Henle, 1841
Carcharias sorrah Day, 1878
Carcharhinus sorrah Misra, 1969
Carcharhinus bleekeri (Dumeril, 1865)
(Junior synonym)
Carcharhinus sorrah (Muller & Henle, 1839)
(Senior synonym)
Carcharhinus spallanzani (Peron & Lesueur, 1822)
(Junior synonym)
Carcharias bleekeri Dumeril, 1865
(Junior synonym)
Carcharias sorrah Muller & Henle, 1839
(Senior synonym)
Carcharias spallanzani (Peron & Lesueur, 1822)
(Junior synonym)
Carcharinus sorrah (Muller & Henle, 1839)
Carcharius spallanzani (Peron & Lesueur, 1822)

Common Name (s)
• Spot Tail Whaler (English)
• Spot Tail Shark (English)
• School Shark (English)
• Grey Shark (English)
• Black Tip Shark (English)
• Katta Sorrah (English)
• Sorrah Shark (English)
• Pisori (Marathi)
• Shirat (Tamil)
• Sorrah
• Balda (Marathi)
• Shirat (Kannada)
• Sravu (Malayalam)
• Katta sorrah (Tamil)
• Pala Sorrah (Telugu)
• Bhundi Magar (Oriya)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Local artisanal and small-scale commercial fisheries. Utilized as a food fish; fins used in the oriental shark fin trade, liver for vitamin oil, and offal for fishmeal. Used for making fish manure.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans
Predator:  Carcharhinus tilstoni


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Pondicherry (Lat: 11.93) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Parangipettai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Orissa, Puri INDIA (Record: 1987-2006)
• Red Sea
• North West Coast INDIA
• Southwest Coast INDIA
• South East Coast INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Porto Novo INDIA
• East Coast INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 6.75) (Long: 92.16) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 13.75) (Long: 94.25) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin (Lat: 8.75) (Long: 78.20) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Misra, KS (1969) Fauna of India Published by the Manager Of Publications Delhi 1 276 pp
  • Venkataraman, K; Milton, MCJ and Raghuram, KP (2003) Handbook on sharks of Indian waters ZSI, Kolkata 1-113
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Venkateswarlu, T and Rama Rao, KV (1986) Valid scientific names to Day's fish fauna of India Miscellaneous publication, occasional paper no 87 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI p 48 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Compagno, LJV; Last, PR; Stevens, JD and MNR, Alava (2005) Checklist of Philippine Chondrichthyes CSIRO Marine Laboratories 104 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Vazirani, TG (1965) Revision of the oriental species of the genus Plantambus Thomson (Insecta: Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) with descriptions of three new species Proceedings of the Zoological Society (Calcutta) 18 25-34
  • 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. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Ammini, PL; Khambadkar, LL and Augustine, SK (2008) A brief report on the marine fisheries of Puri, Orissa Marine Fisheries Information Service Technical and Extension Series CMFRI 195 6-10 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 -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Kizhakudan, SJ; Nair, KVS and Zala, MS Demersal Finfish Resources of Gujarat Sustainable fisheries development: Focus on Gujarat 57-66 Available at -
  • Devadoss, P (1984) Nutritive values of sharks, skates and rays from Portonovo coast Indian Journal of Fisheries 31 (1) 156-161 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 -
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Roy, SD; Rajan, PT and Soundararajan, S (2006) Marine food fishes of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fishing Chimes 25(10) 108-110 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Devaraj, M and Vivekanandan, E (1999) Marine capture fisheries of India: Challenges and Opportunities Current Science Current Science Association 76(3) 314-333 Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-03-13

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