Requiem Sharks

© Johan Boshoff


Requiem Sharks (Carcharhinidae)

Species in Family

Black-tip, Blue shark and Tiger shark, Oceanic white-tip, White-tip reef shark and Bull shark

Shark Identification

The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is 3m long on average but can be as long as 5m. It is greyish in colour on its upper body with prominent darker stripes, similar to that of the tiger.
The black-tip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is 1.5m long on average but can be as long as 2.8m. They have pointy snouts and long gill slits. Their dorsal, pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins are tipped in black.
The blue shark (Prionace glauca) is 1.5m long on average but can be as long as 4.5m. Their bodies are dark blue on top, long and narrows to each end. The tips of their pectoral and anal fins are black.
The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is also called the Zambezi shark. Their bodies are stocky and short. Their snouts are round and their dorsal fins wide and pointy. The body is brown-grey in colour on top. This shark tolerates fresh water.
The oceanic white-tipped shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) is brownish-grey in colour on the back. Their pectoral and dorsal fins are long and wing-like, and their first dorsal, pectoral and lower caudal fins are tipped in white.
The white-tip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) have short and slender bodies, coloured in a brownish-grey on top. It is marked in scattered, dark grey spots. Their snouts are short and blunt, and the front dorsal fin and upper caudal lobe are tipped in white.

General Info

Requiem sharks belong to the Carcharhinidae family which comprises of 12 genera and 50 species. They have five-gill slits and their teeth are blade-like with a cusp. A third eyelid, named a nictitating eyelid, protects their eyes. These requiem sharks are known for attacking humans. They weigh about 900kg. These sharks are viviparous, and the young are fully developed when born in litters ranging from 10 to 100. Females mate every three years.


Requiem sharks feed on fish, seals, smaller sharks, turtles, squid and dolphins.


They can be found in tropical oceans across the world.

Common Species

Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)
Black-tip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus)
Blue shark (Prionace glauca)
Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas)
Oceanic white-tip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)
White-tip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus)

© Johan Boshoff