Speartooth shark

  • The speartooth shark has a broad and triangular first dorsal fin which is slightly rounded at the tip. The relatively large second dorsal fin is similar in size to the anal fin. The upper teeth are broadly triangular, erect and serrated
    The speartooth shark has a broad and triangular first dorsal fin which is slightly rounded at the tip. The relatively large second dorsal fin is similar in size to the anal fin. The upper teeth are broadly triangular, erect and serrated
  • A map showing the distribution of the speartooth shark, which is found inshore in small pockets in North Queensland and the Northern Territory
    A map showing the distribution of the speartooth shark, which is found inshore in small pockets in North Queensland and the Northern Territory
  • The snout of the speartooth shark is short and bluntly rounded
    The snout of the speartooth shark is short and bluntly rounded
  • The lower teeth of the speartooth shark, which are long, narrow and erect with spear-like tips. The upper teeth are broadly triangular, erect and serrated
    The lower teeth of the speartooth shark, which are long, narrow and erect with spear-like tips. The upper teeth are broadly triangular, erect and serrated
Scientific name

Glyphis glyphis. CAAB code: 37 018041

Family

Whaler

Other names

Blue, Bizant, Queensland or Northern river shark, Glyphis sp A.

Frequent misidentification
  • Northern river shark/New Guinea river shark (Glyphis sp. C - no confirmed records in Queensland)
  • lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens)
  • sometimes bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).
Description
  • medium sized, moderately stout whaler
  • has a large second dorsal fin (at least half the height of the first dorsal fin)
  • grey on the upper surface and pale underneath with an inconspicuous pale stripe along the flanks.
Distribution

Inshore including estuaries and river systems in the northern Gulf of Carpentaria and eastern coastline of Queensland. Captures reported in the southern and western gulf are unconfirmed.

Size

59 to 300 cm.

Fisheries

Inshore gillnet fisheries; however, rarely encountered.

Protected species

Speartooth sharks are protected throughout Queensland and are therefore prohibited from being in anyone's possession without a permit.

Further information

Last updated 07 December 2012