Blacknose Shark

Blacknose Shark

The Blacknose Shark is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae. This species is not known to attack humans, though it has been documented performing a threat display towards divers. It is of moderate commercial and recreational importance. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed this species as Near Threatened. In 2009, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the populations of the blacknose shark off the United States are being overfished, and proposed new conservation measures.


The blacknose shark has a slender, streamlined body with a long, rounded snout and large eyes. There is a well-developed flap of skin in front of each nostril, defining the inflow and outflow openings. There are 12–13 and 11–12 tooth rows on either side of the upper and lower jaws, respectively, with one or two teeth at the symphysis (middle). The teeth are triangular and oblique, with serrated edges; the upper teeth are stouter than the lower teeth. The five pairs of gill slits are short, measuring less a third the length of the first dorsal fin base.

The first dorsal fin is small and somewhat falcate (sickle-shaped), with a pointed apex and a short, free, rear tip; its origin lies over the free rear tips of the pectoral fins. The second dorsal fin is relatively large, though still less than half the height of the first. There is no ridge between the dorsal fins. The pectoral fins are short and tapered. The body is covered with overlapping dermal denticles that bear five to seven longitudinal ridges (three in very young individuals) leading to three to five marginal teeth. The coloration is yellowish to greenish-gray or brown above and white to yellow below. A distinctive dark blotch at the tip of the snout is most obvious in young sharks. The tips of the second dorsal fin, upper caudal fin lobe, and sometimes the lower caudal fin lobe, are dark.


The blacknose shark inhabits the continental and insular shelves off the eastern coast of the Americas, as far north as North Carolina and as far south as southern Brazil, including the Bahamas, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. They frequent coastal waters over beds of seagrass, sandy flats, and shell or coral rubble.


A small, fast-swimming predator, the blacknose shark feeds primarily on small, bony fishes, including pinfishcroakersporgiesanchoviesspiny boxfish, and porcupinefish, as well as on octopus and other cephalopods.