Blacktip Reef Shark

The Carcharhinus melanopterus, by Emilyn Belcher

Blacktip Reef shark-information

  1. family-Carcharhinidae
  2. order-Carcharhiniformes

The Black tip Reef shark is found in the eastern Mediterranean, Indopacific region. Also located throughout Australia and found off of the southwest coast of Hawaii. Younger sharks usually stay in clear, shallow, and warm water and the adult sharks are usually found in deeper over reef drops.

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How to Identify a Black-tip Reef Shark

If you've never heard of counter-shading, it is when any animal has a form of coloration on their bodies where they are one color on the top of their bodies, and another color on the bottom of their bodies. You can find counter-shading on cats and dogs, and of course, sharks. The Black-tip Reef has a beige-ish/brown-ish or grey color on top, and a typically white color on their bellies.
As you can imagine, they are mainly known for the black tips that they sport on the tips of their fins, including their well-known dorsal fin(s), pectoral fins, caudal fin, and pelvic fin. Their caudal fin, though, is mostly just outlined with black, also helping them stand out and be easily noticed.
The size of the sharks vary from 0.91m-1.12m, which is roughly 36 to 44 inches. Comparatively, that is about the size (height/length) of a toddler or a pre-schooler (about 3-4 ft). These sharks are hunted for their beautiful fins, when they're hardly the size of child and not as threatening as they look.

Photos of the Black-tip Reef Shark

Things to Know about the Black-tip Reef Shark

Birth & Eating Habits

These sharks give a live birth, meaning that the sharks do not hatch out of shells, but they develop inside of their mother and are birthed, similar to a human birth. They feed on smaller fish such as sturgeon and mullet, and also invertebrates similar to shrimp and octopi.

Did You Know?

The Black-tip Reef Sharks move, or travel, in groups and they are very social and friendly.


"Carcharhinus Melanopterus." :: Florida Museum of Natural History. Web. 17 May 2016. <>.

"The Blacktip Reef Is A Beautiful Species Of Shark - Shark Sider." Welcome To SharkSidercom. Web. 17 May 2016. <>.

"Blacktip Reef Shark Video." ARKive. Web. 17 May 2016. <>.