04
septembre
2013

Zebra sharks

Zebra sharks

Zebra sharks,Stegostoma fasicatum

Zebra sharks,Stegostoma fasicatum(Hermann, 1783), are also known as leopard sharks in Southeast Asia. The zebra shark has a cylindrical body with prominent ridges on the sides and 5 gill slits (slits 4 and 5 overlap). The tail lacks a ventral lobe and it is as long as the body. This shark has a broad head, small barbels, and a transverse mouth located in front of the eyes. Itsspiraclesare as large as its eyes.

Description & Behavior

Zebra sharks,Stegostoma fasicatum(Hermann, 1783), are also known as leopard sharks in Southeast Asia. The zebra shark has a cylindrical body with prominent ridges on the sides and 5 gill slits (slits 4 and 5 overlap). The tail lacks a ventral lobe and it is as long as the body. This shark has a broad head, small barbels, and a transverse mouth located in front of the eyes. Itsspiraclesare as large as its eyes. The spineless dorsal fins are back to back. The anterior dorsal fin is much larger than the posterior dorsal fin. The first dorsal fin appears above the bases of pelvic fins, the second dorsal fin is about as large as the anal fin. The body is gray-brown with dark spots in adults. Juveniles are darker with light stripes and spots. Maximum size is about3.5m, average size between 2.5-3m.

World Range & Habitat

Zebra sharks,Stegostoma fasicatum, are found in the Indo-Western Pacific: South Africa to Red Sea and Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, China, Japan, Australia, New Caledonia, Palau. Lives over the continental and insular (island) shelves. Very common around coral reefs, often on sandy bottoms, but little is known about their biology. It is known that this species props itself up its pectorals in the sand and faces the current with open mouth. Such behavior and its inactivity during the day points towards a more sluggish life style and indicates that it is probably a nocturnal hunter. Recorded to have entered freshwater.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

Feeds primarily on snails and other mollusks, but also on crabs, shrimps, and small bony fishes.

Life History

Zebra sharks are egg layers (oviparous). Egg cases are large (17cm long,8cm wide,5cm thick). It is unknown if the female lays more than one egg at a time, but it is most likely. Pups hatch size is between 20-36cm. Males reach sexual maturity between about 1.5-1.8m, females around1.7m.

 

Source : http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=56

  • Tags: dive phuket, marine life phuket, shark thailand

Categories: Marine Life Thailand

Comments (1)

  • Johann Tissier

    Johann Tissier

    27 mars 2015 at 03:46 |
    Great shark, very graceful. I love to look at this wonderful creature, I Have seen many around Phuket unfortunately the species is decrease but still few dive site where we can spot them in regular basis as Hin Bida.

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