Alopias superciliosus

(LOWE, 1841)

Bigeye thresher
Classification: Elasmobranchii Lamniformes Alopiidae

Reference of the original description
LOWE, R.T. (1841)
A paper from the Rev. R.T. Lowe, M.A., describing certain new species of Madeiran fishes, and containing additional information relating to those already described. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 8: 36-39

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Alopecias superciliosus, Alopias aff. superciliosus, Alopias cf. superciliosus, Alopias profundus, Alopias superciliousus

Alopias superciliosus


Citation: Alopias superciliosus (LOWE, 1841): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 10/2015

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Alopias superciliosus (LOWE, 1841), © FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Ebert, D.A. 2014. On Board Guide for the Identification of Pelagic Sharks and Rays of the Western Indian Ocean. Reproduced with permission
Common names
deu \(T\) Großäugiger Drescherhai, deu \(T\) Großäugiger Fuchshai, spa Azotador, spa Coleto, spa Coludo cebucano, spa Pejerrabo, spa Pez zorro, spa Tiburón zorro, spa Tiburón zorro de ojo grande, spa Zorro, spa Zorro blanco, spa Zorro de mar, spa Zorro negro, spa Zorro ojon, fra \(T\) Renard à gros yeux, eng Big eye thresher shark, eng Big-eye shark, eng Big-eyed thresher, eng Bigeye thresher, eng Bigeye thresher shark, eng Bigeye tresher, eng Long-tailed shark, eng Thresher shark, eng Whiptail, ita Pesce volpe occhio grosso, por Cação-raposa-olho-grande, por Peixe-raposo, por Peixe-rato, por Raposo-de-olhos-grandes, por Tubarão raposo, por Tubarão-raposa de olho grande, por Tubarão-raposo-olhudo, por Zorro olho grande, por Zorro-de-olhos-grandes

Short Description
A large thresher with very large eyes, an indented forehead, a broad caudal tip, and curved broad-tipped pectoral fins; 1st dorsal fin further back than in other threshers [536]. Upper lobe of caudal fin very long and strap-like almost or quite equal to length of rest of shark; lower lobe short but well developed [20050]. Purplish grey above, cream below, posterior edges of pectoral and pelvic fins and sometimes first dorsal fin dusky; light color of abdomen not expanded over pectoral-fin bases [20050]. Diet: pelagic waters between the U.S.-Mexico border and Cape Mendocino, California (data base: of 26 stomachs examined, 23 contained food items representing 20 taxa): Of the 10 taxa of teleosts found in the diet, fish of the family barracudinas (Paralepididae) represented the most important prey item (GII = 52.8; %IRI = 45.98), followed by Pacific hake (Merluccius productus; GII = 38.4; %IRI = 24.23), Pacific saury (Cololabis saira;GII = 22.2; %IRI = 8.08), Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus;GII = 17.3; %IRI = 3.92), and northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax; GII = 16.0; %IRI = 3.93).Of the eight taxa of cephalopods, jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas; GII = 15.5; %IRI =3.61) and Gonatus spp. squid (GII = 11.0;%IRI = 0.63) were proportionately highest in ranking. [16891];

Circumtropical. Western Atlantic: New York, USA southward to Bahamas and Cuba; Panama [1388] to Uruguay [5839]. Eastern Atlantic: Portugal to Angola, including the Mediterranean. Indo-Pacific: Arabian Sea, Madagascar, South Africa, southern Japan, Taiwan, northern Viet Nam [20050], New Caledonia, northwestern coast of Australia, New Zealand and north and south of the Hawaiian Islands Eastern Pacific: southern California (USA), Costa Rica and Panama (Ref. 9253), Galapagos Islands Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea [20076]. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding on other ova produced by the mother (oophagy) after the yolk sac is absorbed [733]. With 2-4 young per litter (usually 2) [518]. Size at birth between 64-106 cm [518]; 100-140 cm TL [2539]. No fixed mating or birthing season. Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Occurs on the continental shelf and slope (Ref. 75154).

Size / Weight / Age
488 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637)); max. published weight: 363.8 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 20 years[5660]

pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous [17660]; marine; depth range 0 - 500 m (Ref. 9253), usually 0 - 100 m [531]

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Hepatoxylon trichiuri (HOLTEN, 1802) [16112]
  • Litobothrium alopias DAILEY, 1969 [16293]
  • Litobothrium amplifica (KUROCHKIN & SLANKIS, 1973) [16217] [7374]
  • Litobothrium coniformis DAILEY, 1969 [16293]
  • Litobothrium daileyi KUROCHKIN & SLANKIS, 1973 [16217] [7374]
  • Litobothrium janovyi OLSON & CAIRA, 2001 [7374] [16908]
  • Mixonybelinia lepturi PALM, 2004 [16112]
  • Molicola walteri PALM, 2004 [16112]
  • Nybelinia africana DOLLFUS, 1960 [16112]
  • Nybelinia indica CHANDRA, 1986 [16112]
  • Sphyriocephalus dollfusi BUSSIERAS & ALDRIN, 1968 [16112]
  • Sphyriocephalus pelorosoma HEINZ & DAILEY, 1974 [16323] [16112]
  • Sphyriocephalus sp. [16112]
  • Sphyriocephalus viridis (WAGENER, 1854) PINTNER, 1913 [16112]