Rhincodon typus

SMITH, 1828

Classification: Elasmobranchii Orectolobiformes Rhincodontidae

Reference of the original description
SMITH, A. (1828)
Descriptions of new, or imperfectly known objects of the animal kingdom, found in the south of Africa. South African Commercial Advertiser, 3 (145): 2

Image of the original description

Rhinodon typicus SMITH, 1845

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Micristodus punctatus, Rhincodon aff. typus, Rhincodon cf. typus, Rhineodon typicus, Rhineodon typus, Rhiniodon typus, Rhinodon pentalineatus, Rhinodon typicus

Rhincodon typus
Holotype: MNHN: 0000-9855
Micristodus punctatus
Holotype: USNM: 231756;
Rhinodon typicus
Holotype: MNHN: ?

Description :

Citation: Rhincodon typus SMITH, 1828: In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras, www.shark-references.com, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 03/2018

Please send your images of "Rhincodon typus" to info@shark-references.com

Rhincodon typus SMITH, 1828; © 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, illustration by Marc Dando , Wildlife Illustrator
Common names
deu \(T\) Rauhhai, deu \(T\) Walhai, spa Dámero, spa Pez dama, spa Tiburon ballena, fra \(T\) Chagrin, fra \(T\) Requin baleine, fra \(T\) Requin-baleine, eng Basking shark, eng Tofu sa, eng Tofu shark, eng Whale shark, eng Whaleshark, por Pintado, por Tubarão baleia, por Tubarão-baleia

Short Description
A huge, blunt-headed shark with a terminal mouth and a prominent checkerboard pattern of light spots, horizontal and vertical stripes on a dark background [518] [536]. Caudal fin crescentic, with a strong lower lobe but no subterminal notch [16823]. It has small, scale-like teeth and feeds by filtering plankton with special sieve-like modifications of the gill bars [17659].

Circumglobal in tropical and warm temperate seas. Western Atlantic: New York, USA through the Caribbean to central Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Gulf of Guinea; St. Paul"quot;s Rocks [5002]. Indian Ocean: throughout the region, including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Western Pacific: Japan to Australia and Hawaii. Eastern Pacific: California, USA to Chile. Identified as one of the species with an unfavorable conservation status in Appendix II of the Bonn Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals in 1999. Classified as a highly migratory species, in Annex I of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which called for "quot;coordinated management and assessment to better understand cumulative impacts of fishing effort on the status of the shared populations"quot; of these sharks [20076]. Included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since May 2003 which regulates international trade of this species. This can partially implement the original objective of the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks). However, international trade still exists. First records: 2012: Portugal, in continental Europe, 07.10.2011, a 7–8 m TL, male, was found inside the set-net [16816]; 2012: Brazilian coast, 05.2011, in the vicinity of a gas platform [17305]; Source: www.gbif.org

Human uses
fisheries: commercial

Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Ovoviviparous [20242]. Embryos feed solely on yolk [733]. Late term embryos shed their egg case within the uterus at a size of 58 to 64 cm TL (ovovivipary). The smallest free-living species are from 55-56 cm long, the smallest of which had an umbilical scar. A pregnant female has recently been found with 300 embryos, the largest of which were 58-64 cm (Refs. 26346, 35678). Found on the continental shelf (Ref. 75154). Prefers surface water temperatures between 21-25°C and salinities of 34-35 ppt. Relies on a versatile suction filter-feeding method, which enables it to draw water into the mouth at higher velocities, thereby allowing it to capture larger, more active nektonic prey as well as zooplankton aggregations. Has been observed to feed passively by cruising with mouth agape. It feeds actively at dusk or after dark by opening their mouths and sucking in prey-rich water [4977]. A carnivore [17641].

Size / Weight / Age
2,000 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 48722)); max. published weight: 34,000.0 kg (Ref. 48722); max. reported age: 70 years (Ref. 72468)

pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous [17660]; marine; depth range 0 - 700 m [531], usually 0 - 70 m [531]

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Wenyonia rhincodonti MALHOTRA, JAISWAL, SINGH, & CAPOOR & MALHOTRA, 2012 [21459]

  • Paronatrema boholanum EDUARDO, 2019 [21420]

  • Gnathia trimaculata COETZEE, SMIT, GRUTTER & DAVIES, 2009 [17188]