Carcharhinus obscurus

(Lesueur, 1818)

Dusky shark
Classification: Elasmobranchii Carcharhiniformes Carcharhinidae

Reference of the original description
Lesueur, C.A. (1818)
Description of several new species of North American fishes. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1(ser. 1), 222–235

Image of the original description

Carcharhinus obscurus (Lesueur, 1818)

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Carcharhinus aff. obscurus, Carcharhinus cf. obscurus, Carcharhinus commersoni, Carcharhinus commersonii, Carcharhinus iranzae, Carcharhinus macrops, Carcharhinus macrurus, Carcharhinus obscurella, Carcharhinus (Platypodon) obscurus, Carcharias commersonii, Carcharias macrurus, Carcharias obscurus, Carcharias (Prionodon) obscurus, Carcharias (Prionodon) obvelatus, Carcharinus commersoni, Carcharinus commersonii, Carcharinus iranzae, Carcharinus obscurus, Eulamia commersonii, Eulamia macrura, Eulamia obscura, Eulamia obscurus, Eulamia obtusa, Galeolamna eblis, Galeolamna macrurus, Galeolamna (Galeolamnoides) eblis, Platypodon obscurus, Prionodon obvelatus, Squalus obscurus, Squalus (Carcharinus) obscurus

Carcharhinus obscurus

Carcharhinus macrops
Holotype: SCSFRI: S00367;
Carcharhinus obscurella
Holotype: ECSFI: SH75-0678; Paratype: ECSFI: SH75-0669; ECSFI: SH75-0512; ECSFI: SH75-0056; ECSFI: SH75-0636;
Carcharias macrurus
Holotype: AMS: I.1155; AMS: I.1155.001;
Galeolamna (Galeolamnoides) eblis
Holotype: AMS: IB.1615; AMS: IB.1615.001; AMS: IB.1615.002; Paratype: AMS: IB.1616; AMS: IB.1609; AMS: IB.1609.001; AMS: IB.1616.001; AMS: IB.1616.002; WAM: P.667-001

Description :

Citation: Carcharhinus obscurus (Lesueur, 1818): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 08/2022

Please send your images of "Carcharhinus obscurus" to

Carcharhinus obscurus (Lesueur, 1818), © 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 \(T\) Blauhai, deu \(T\) Dunkelhai, deu \(T\) Grauhai, spa Arenero, spa Cazón, spa Jaqueta, spa Jaquetón, spa Lamia, spa Lobo, spa Melgacho, spa Tiburon arenero, spa Tiburón amarillo, spa Tiburón gambuso, spa Tiburón lobo, spa Tiburón marrón, spa Tiburón obscuro, spa Tiburón oscuro, spa Tintorera, spa Zarco, fra \(T\) Rechin, fra \(T\) Requiem de sable, fra \(T\) Requin, fra \(T\) Requin de sable, fra \(T\) Requin sombre, eng Bay-shark, eng Black whaler, eng Black whaler shark, eng Bronze shark whaler, eng Bronze whaler, eng Brown common gray shark, eng Brown dusky shark, eng Brown shark, eng Common whaler, eng Common whaler shark, eng Dusky ground shark, eng Dusky shark, eng Dusky whaler, eng Requin obscur, eng River whaler, eng Shark, eng Shovelnose, eng Slender whaler shark, eng Whaler shark, ita Squalo scuro, por Cação, por Cação fidalgo, por Estrela, por Faqueta, por Fidalgo, por Marracho areneiro, por Marracho-faqueta, por Tubarão-faqueta

Short Description
A large shark with a broadly rounded snout, triangular saw-edged upper teeth, curved moderate-sized pectoral fins, and an interdorsal ridge [536]. Blue-grey, lead-grey above, white below; tips of pectoral and pelvic fins, as well as lower lobe of caudal fin and dorsal fins often dusky in young, plain in adults [544].

Western Atlantic: southern Massachusetts to Florida (USA), Georges Bank, Bahamas, Cuba, northern Gulf of Mexico, Nicaragua, southern Brazil and Uruguay [5839]. Eastern Atlantic: Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Senegal, Sierra Leone. Some records from the Mediterranean and Madeira may be based on Carcharhinus galapagensis. Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea [20040], Mozambique and South Africa to Japan, China, Viet Nam and Australia. Eastern Pacific: southern California, USA to Gulf of California and the Revillagigedo Island. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea [20076]. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes

Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta, litter size 3-14 pups [517]; 70-100 cm at birth [1388]. Gestation period of ~ 16 months [2539]. Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Occurs on the continental shelf and slope (Ref. 75154). Dusky whales tend to avoid estuaries and areas of low salinity (Refs. 244, 6390).

Size / Weight / Age
420 cm TL (male/unsexed; [536]); max. published weight: 346.5 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 40 years [2246]

reef-associated; oceanodromous [17660]; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 400 m [517], usually 200 - 400 m

shark-references Species-ID=803;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Petromyzon marinus Linnaeus, 1758 [21428]

  • Ascaris habena Linton, 1900 [17126]
  • Huffmanela carcharhini (Maccallum, 1925) [16959]
  • Terranova brevicapitata (Linton, 1901) [17126]