Alopias vulpinus

Scientific Name:-
Alopias vulpinus

Common Name:-
Common Thresher

Malayalam Name:-
Nadan Nilamthalli Sravu


Vulnerable in IUCN Redlist of species.


Long curving dorsal caudal lobe about as long as rest of shark, relatively small eyes, falcate, pointed pectoral fins, white colour of abdomen extending over pectoral fin bases. Head broad in dorsal and ventral view, with a strongly convex dorsolateral profile. Snout relatively short, conical and pointed. Eyes moderately large at all sizes, not expanded onto dorsal surface of head and without a vertical, binocular field of view; interorbital space broadly convex. Labial furrows present. Teeth smaller with 32 to 52/25 to 50 rows (total for both jaws 58 to 102 rows); posterior tooth rows 2 to 10; symphysial and intermediate tooth rows usually present. No nuchal grooves present above branchial region. Pectoral fins falcate and with curved and narrow tips. Claspers extremely slender and whip-like. First dorsal-fin midbase closer to pectoral-fin bases than to pelvic fin bases. Caudal tip moderately slender with moderately broad terminal lobe. Ribs of monospondylous precaudal vertebrae lateral and not fused ventrally as a canal. Total vertebral count 339 to 364. Intestinal valve count 33 to 34. Body blue-grey to dark grey or blackish above with sides silvery or coppery and underside white, white colour of abdomen extending dorsally and anteriorly over pectoral-fin bases as a conspicuous patch; white dot often present on upper pectoral-fin tips.


Not recorded, though common catch in the tuna and shark longline, and tuna drift net fisheries.


Utilized for human consumption, liver oil for vitamin extraction, hides for leather, and fins for shark-fin soup, this species is frequent in the chondrichthyan landings of India.


Marine; oceanic and epipelagic species; usually mesopelagic in the tropics


Squalus vulpes Gmelin, 1788: 1496. Types unknown according to Eschmeyer (1998:CD-ROM).
Alopias macrourus Rafinesque, 1810:12. Type locality, Sicily. No types.
Galeus vulpecula Rafinesque, 1810:13, equivalent to "Squalus vulpecula di Linnao", which does not exist. Type locality, Sicily. No types.
Squalus alopecias Gronow, 1854:7. No types known, according to Eschmeyer (1998: CD-ROM).
Alopecias barrae Perez Canto, 1886:5. Type locality, Chile. Holotype possibly lost.
Alopecias chilensis Philippi, 1902:310. Type locality, Chile. No types known, according to Eschmeyer (1998: CD-ROM).
Alopias vulpes Gmelin, 1788
Alopecias vulpes Gmelin, 1788
Carcharias vulpes Gmelin, 1788


Akhilesh K.V., K. K. Bineesh, A. Gopalakrishnan, J. K. Jena, V. S. Basheer and N. G. K. Pillai (2014). Checklist of Chondrichthyans in Indian waters. Mar. Biol. Ass. India, 56 (1), 109-120.
Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO..
Goldman, K.J., Baum, J., Cailliet, G.M., Cortés, E., Kohin, S., Macías, D., Megalofonou, P., Perez, M., Soldo, A. & Trejo, T. 2009. Alopias vulpinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2015.
Joshi K.K., Balachandran K. and Raje S.G. (2008) Changes in the shark ?shery at Cochin. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 50, 103–105.
Pillai P.P. and Honma M. (1978) Seasonal and areal distribution of thepelagic sharks taken by the tuna longline in the Indian Ocean. Bulletin of the Far Seas Fisheries Research Laboratory 16, 33–48.
Pillai P.P. and Parakkal, B. (2000). Pelagic sharks in the Indian Seas—their exploitation, trade, management and conservation. . CMFRI Special Publication, 70, 95 pp.
Venkataraman, K., John Milton, M.C. and Raghuram, K.P. 2003. Handbook on Sharks of Indian Waters: Diversity, Fishery status, Trade and Conservation. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata.

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