Stegostoma fasciatum (Hermann, 1783)
Zebra shark
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Stegostomatidae (Zebra sharks)
Max. size:  354 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 90 m, amphidromous
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to New Caledonia and Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales, Australia. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797). Also from Persian Gulf (Ref. 247).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. Head with 5 small gill slits, the last three behind pectoral fin origin; nostril close to front of snout, with short barbels and nasoral grooves connecting them with the mouth (Ref. 4832).Very long caudal fin, almost as long as the rest of the body, with a deep subterminal notch but with the lower lobe hardly developed (Ref.13575, 6871). Yellow-brown with dark brown spots (Ref. 391), young black with yellow bars (Ref. 5578). Adults with longitudinal skin ridges which are lacking in young (Ref. 391). Juveniles smaller than about 70 cm, markedly different; dark with white bars and spots; pale ventrally (Ref. 6781). Pectoral fins large and broadly rounded (Ref. 6871).
Biology:  A tropical inshore shark found on sand, rubble, or coral bottoms of the continental and insular shelves (Ref. 247). Recorded to have entered freshwater (Ref. 4735). Rather sluggish at least during the day (Ref. 247). Probably nocturnal, feeds mainly on mollusks, but also small bony fishes (Ref. 9993). Also known to eat crustaceans (crabs and shrimps) and sea snakes (Ref. 43278). Oviparous (Ref. 43278, 50449). Slow-swimming and able to squirm into narrow cracks, crevices and channel in reefs while searching for food (Ref. 247). Readily kept in captivity (Ref. 247). May bite when provoked (Ref. 247). Utilized fresh and dried-salted for human consumption and also for fishmeal; livers processed for vitamins; fins dried for the oriental sharkfin trade; offal utilized for fishmeal (Ref. 247). Possibly reaching 354 cm TL (Ref. 9993, 47613). Caught in drift net intended for sharks (Ref. 47736). Reported from freshwater in the Philippines but needs to be confirmed (Ref. 43278).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN); Date assessed: 18 February 2015 (A2bd+3bd) Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 05.10.16
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 29.11.95

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