(J. P. Müller & Henle, 1839)
|Range of whitecheek shark|
The whitecheek shark or widemouth blackspot shark (Carcharhinus dussumieri), is a requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae, found in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean between latitudes 34° N and 25° S. Its length is up to about 1 m. It feeds mainly on fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. It is a viviparous species with the female giving birth to up to four live young.
The whitecheek shark grows to a length of about 100 centimetres (39 in). It has a slender body and long head with rounded snout. The eyes are oval and both jaws have multiple rows of backward pointing, serrated teeth. The pectoral fins are long, narrow and curved and have narrow pointed tips. The first dorsal fin is triangular, uncurved and moderate-sized, and the second dorsal fin is much smaller than the first and bears a large black patch at its apex. The whitecheek shark's dorsal (upper) surface is grey or brownish-grey while its ventral (under) surface is pale.
The whitecheek shark is native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean where it is found on continental shelves and inshore slopes around islands down to depths of about 170 metres (560 ft). Its range extends from the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf to Java, Indonesia, Japan and Australia.
It is a common species but not well known, and it is sometimes confused with the blackspot shark (Carcharhinus sealei). Both males and females mature when they are about 70 centimetres (28 in) long. Females are viviparous and breeding takes place throughout the year, with females normally being either pregnant or having recently given birth. One to four, but usually two pups are retained in the uterus where they feed from a yolksac. They are about 38 centimetres (15 in) at the time of birth.
The IUCN lists the whitecheek shark as "Near Threatened" in its Red List of Threatened Species. This is because it is often caught in shallow-water fisheries by rod and line, gillnetting and trawling. Its population trend seems to be decreasing and it is facing local extinction in some parts of its range. It is usually caught as bycatch rather than as the target species and in Australian waters makes up around 2 to 3% of the total biomass caught. It is not harmful to man and its flesh is marketed for human consumption.
- Bennett, M. B.; Kyne, P. M. (2003-04-30). "Carcharhinus dussumieri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- Pollerspöck, Jürgen. "Carcharhinus dussumieri". Catalog of Fishes. SharkReference.com. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- "Whitecheek shark (Carcharhinus dussumieri)". Sharks of the World. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
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- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Carcharhinus dussumieri" in FishBase. May 2006 version.