Upper surface of body without large brown ocelli, but usually with white spots
Large spines present on midline of back and tail from head to dorsal fins and between the fin bases. Dermal folds on sides of head with prominent triangular lobes.
Fringes on anterior nasal flaps very strong and deep
Small eyes, head broad and rounded; comblike lower teeth high and short, with a set of serrations. Body usually has scattered small black spots and sometimes white spots. Larger size, about 2.9 m in length
Brownish grey body characterized by bilateral symmetry with a flattened head and body with a long and thin saw-like rostrum. Preoral snout about a third of body length. A pair of barbels are located halfway down the rostrum
Rostrum long and narrower, distance from rostrum tip to barbels about equal or slightly greater than distance from barbels to mouth. Dorsal and pectoral fins covered with denticles in large specimens
Cusplets present and prominent on most teeth. Fin spines, especially that of second dorsal fin, relatively long
Anterior nasal flaps with elongated barbels, reaching mouth
Anterior nasal flaps without elongated barbels, not reaching mouth
Upper teeth with cusplets in addition to a cusp
Preoral snout length greater than distance from mouth to pectoral origins. Dermal denticles of back with tall, slender pedicels and pitchfork-shaped crowns
Upper teeth relatively broad, bladelike,lowers low and wide. Rear tips of pectoral fins short and angular to elongated and acutely pointed
Lower teeth with relatively low, more or less oblique cusps
Lower teeth with relatively high, more less erect cusps
Gill openings uniform width and second dorsal fin origin over or in front of of pelvic fin origin?
Gill openings increasing in width posteriorly with a very wide fifth gill opening. Pectoral fin inner margin and free rear tip greatly expanded and lobate. Second dorsal fin origin anterior to pelvic origins
First dorsal fin origin well ahead of pelvic fin origins?
Second dorsal base at least twice as long as first dorsal base. Upper caudal lobe shortened, caudal fin paddle-shaped?
First dorsal fin with a spine (sometimes concealed by skin); very small body (about 22cm) with larger eyes. fin closer to pectoral bases than to pelvic bases. Second dorsal base about twice as long as first dorsal base. Snout more elongated and pointed, snout length about half length of head
First dorsal fin spineless; fin closer to pelvic bases than to pectoral bases. Second dorsal base about four times as long as first dorsal base. Snout shorterand more bluntly rounded, snout length about 2/5 of head length
Second dorsal fin almost as large as first. Anterior nasal flaps with very large, broad secondary lobe. Upper precaudal pit weak or absent. Postventral caudal margin shallowly concave.
Denticles very large, body surface rough
(previously known as Squalus asper)
Second dorsal fin much smaller than first. Anterior nasal flaps with secondary lobe small and narrow to absent. Upper precaudal pit strong. Postventral caudal margin deeply notched. Denticles small, body surface smooth
Preoral snout elongated, about 1.5 to 2.0 times mouth width, preorbital snout two times eye length or more in adults. Eyes closer to first gill slits than snout tip. Inner corners of nostrils closer to mouth than snout tip
Tips of dorsal fins, dorsal caudal margin and ventral caudal lobe conspicuously black
Preoral snout short to moderately elongated, usually less than 1.4 times mouth width, preorbital snout less than two times eye length in adults. Eyes closer to snout tip than first gill slits. Inner corners of nostrils closer
to snout tip than mouth
Origin of first dorsal spine well behind free rear tips of pectorals. Secondary lobe minute or absent on anterior nasal flaps. Usually white spots present on sides
Origin of first dorsal spine over inner margins of pectorals and usually in front of their rear tips. Secondary lobe well-developed on anterior nasal flaps. No white spots on sides
Diagonal distance from centre of snout tip to inner edge of nostril less than or about equal to distance from nostril to upper labial furrow. Pectoral fins with acutely pointed free rear tips.
Lateral trunk denticles lanceolate
Fin spines rather long, first dorsal spine nearly equal to fin base. Posterior margin of pectoral fins deeply concave. Midpoint of pelvic bases. about midway between first and second dorsal bases
Diagonal distance from centre of snout tip to inner edge of nostril greater than distance from nostril to upper labial furrow. Pectoral fins with rounded rear tips. Lateral trunk denticles tricuspidate
First dorsal height more than 3/4 of its length from origin to free rear tip, first dorsal spine as long as fin base. Height of second dorsal more than 5% of total length, second dorsal spine usually
over 6% of total length
First dorsal height less than 2/3 of its length, first dorsal spine much shorter than fin base. Height of second dorsal less than 5% of total length, second dorsal spine less than 6% of total length
Black flank marking with a long anterior branching in front of pelvic fins
Body very slim. Tail very long, distance from pelvic insertions to lower caudal origin equal to head. Posterior branch of flank marking very narrow and greatly expanded, longer than anterior branch
Lateral trunk denticles with long, slender cusps. Underside of snout scaled
Black markings on sides of tail and underside of head distinct. Prespiracular head about as long as distance from spiracles to pectoral insertions. Interdorsal space about as long as snout tip to pectoral insertions
Lateral trunk denticles with flat sessile atop the denticle bases, without separate pedicels and with or without a posterior medial.
Second dorsal fin very small, half height of first dorsal or less, with spine origin usually well posterior to rear tips. Inner margins of pectoral fin longer than distance from second dorsal spine origin to upper caudal origin
Second dorsal fin larger, 3/4 of first dorsal height or more, with spine origin usually over pelvic inner margins. Inner margins of pectoral about as long or shorter than distance from second dorsal spine origin to upper caudal origin
Denticles of adults without cusps, crowns broadly rounded posteriorly
Distance from first dorsal insertion to origin of second dorsal spine about as long as tip of snout to pectoral insertions
Denticles of adults with medial cusps, crowns angular and thornlike posteriorly
Snout rather short and broad, preoral length less than mouth width. Free rear tips of pectoral fins slightly elongated, not extending behind first dorsal spines. Lateral trunk denticles of adults narrow and teardropshaped. Postventral
margin of caudal fin virtually straight in adults. A large species reaching over 1.5 m
(previously known as Centrophorus niaukang)
Snout rather long and narrow, preoral length greater than mouth width. Free rear tips of pectoral fins greatly elongated, extending well behind first dorsal spine. Lateral trunk denticles of adults broad and rhomboidal. Postventral margin
of caudal fin notched in adults. Maximum size usually below 1 m
Snout greatly elongated, preoral length about equal to distance from mouth to pectoral fin origins. Upper labial furrows greatly elongated, their lengths greater than distance between their anterior ends
Snout shorter, preoral length much less than distance from mouth to pectoral fin origins. Upper labial furrows shorter, their lengths less than distance between their anterior ends
Snout moderately long, preoral length about as long as distance from mouth to first gill slits, and about equal to mouth width
Dorsal fin spines rather stout and prominent, exposed anterior margin of first spine nearly half length of fin base from insertion to rear end of spine. Body strongly tapering rearwards from pectoral fins. Pectoral fins large, their
apices nearly or quite reaching first dorsal spine when laid back
Dorsal fin spines inconspicuous, with only tips slightly protruding or not at all. Body not tapering from pectoral fins, dorsoventral contours nearly parallel to pelvic bases. Pectoral fins smaller, their apices falling well ahead of first dorsal spine when laid back
Dorsal fin spines usually concealed by skin. Base of first dorsal fin extending anteriorly as a conspicuous broad ridge to over the pectoral bases
(previously known as Centroscymnus cryptacanthus)
now known as
Dorsal fin spines with tips usually exposed. Base of first dorsal fin little exended anteriorly as a low ridge to behind pectoral rear tips
Snout short, preoral length about 2/3 as long as distance from mouth to first gill slits, and less than mouth width
Lateral trunk denticles very large, with smooth, rounded crowns in adults, resembling bony fish scales. Body not tapering from pectoral fins, dorsoventral contours nearly parallel to pelvic bases.. First dorsal base not expanded forwards,
origin of fin well behind pectoral rear tips
Lateral trunk denticles small and with tricuspidate ridged crowns in adults, not resembling bony fish scales. Body tapering posteriorly from pectoral fins. First dorsal base expanded forward, origin of fin about opposite pectoral rear tips
First dorsal fin closer to snout tip than subterminal notch. Nine or ten dark saddles on back and tail
First dorsal origin well behind pelvic free rear tips. Anal insertion below second dorsal origin, free rear tip reaches first fourth of second dorsal base, anal base shorter than distance from anal insertion to lower caudal origin
First dorsal origin over pelvic free rear tips. Anal insertion below midbase of second dorsal, free rear tip reaches second dorsal insertion, base about equal to distance from anal insertion to lower caudal origin
Gill region with an indistinct to prominent dusky collar marking with or without a few brown spots but lacking white spots, body with small to moderately large brown spots but no blotches, fins with small brown spots but no black blotches
Gill region with a prominent dusky collar, dark spots absent from pectoral fin
Body and tail very slender. Anal fin origin far behind free rear tip of second dorsal, length of anal fin from origin to free rear tip subequal to length of hypural caudal lobe from lower caudal origin to subterminal notch. Colour pattern
with numerous small dark spots and bars
Body and tail moderately slender to relatively stout. Anal fin origin below or close behind free rear tip of second dorsal, length of anal fin considerably shorter than hypural caudal lobe. Colour pattern varied but without numerous small dark spots and bars
Ground colour of body dark with numerous light spots
Dorsal fins large and angular, snout tip truncated. Colour pattern without transverse dark bands, blue spots
Nasal barbels not branched. Dermal lobes of head very broad-based, only 2 or 3 in front of eyes. Colour pattern simple, dark rounded saddles with tight outlining widely spaced by dusky areas
and with a few dark spots; saddles on head and trunk forming conspicuous eyespots
Lateral blades of head anteroposteriorly broad, not winglike. Nostrils short, their widths 7 to 14 times in internarial width and less than half of mouth width. No knobs along anterior margin of head
Lateral blades of head very narrow and winglike. Nostrils greatly enlarged, their widths 0.8 to 0.9 times in the internarial width and nearly twice the mouth width. Knobs present along anterior margin of head, opposite nostrils
Head broader and more hammer- or axe-shaped, its width over 22% of total length. Anterior margin of head more or less notched, just medial to nostrils. Posterior teeth not expanded as molariform crushers
Posterior margins of lateral blades of head usually more or less transverse. Free rear tip of first dorsal over or behind pelvic origins. Posterior margin of anal fin straight or concave, not deeply notched. Size smaller, adults less than 2 m
Prenarial grooves present on anterior edge of head medial to nostrils. Head with a well-defined medial indentation and paired lateral indentations on its anterior edge. First dorsal fin more erect
Posterior margins. of lateral blades of head usually arching posterolaterally (except in adults of S. mokarran). Free rear tip of first dorsal well in front of pelvic origins. Posterior margin of anal fin usually deeply notched. Size larger, adults at least 3 m
Anterior margin of head nearly straight in adults. Prenarial grooves absent or hardly developed. Teeth strongly serrated at all sizes. Pelvic fins high and falcate. First dorsal markedly falcate. Second dorsal fin high, with a short inner margin and deeply concave
Anterior margin of head moderately convex in adults, strongly so in young. Prenarial grooves well-developed. Teeth smooth-edged in young, weakly serrate in adults. Pelvic fins low and not falcate, with nearly straight posterior edges. First dorsal usually
semifalcate. Second dorsal fin low, with a long inner margin and nearly straight posterior margin
No median indentation on anterior margin of head. Free rear tip of second dorsal well ahead of upper caudal origin. Anal base about as large as second dorsal base
Head nearly flat between eyes; with a deep horizontal groove on nape on each side above gills. Eyes very large, with orbits expanded onto dorsal surface of head. Teeth larger, less than 25 rows in each jaw. First dorsal fin base closer to
pelvic bases than pectoral bases
Head strongly arched between eyes; with no horizontal groove or with an inconspicuous one on nape on each side. Eyes smaller, with orbits not expanded onto dorsal surface of head. Teeth smaller, 29 or (usually) more rows in each jaw. First
dorsal fin base about equidistant between pectoral and pelvic fin bases or closer to pectoral bases
Head narrow, snout more elongated, forehead nearly straight. Labial furrows absent. Lateral teeth with well-developed distal cusplets. Pectoral fins nearly straight and broad-tipped. Terminal lobe of caudal shorter, its length from subterminal notch
to caudal tip about equal to second dorsal base. Sides above pectoral bases dark, without an extension of the white abdominal area
Head broad, snout shorter, forehead strongly arched. Labial furrows present. Lateral teeth usually without distal cusplets. Pectoral fins falcate and narrow tipped. Terminal lobe of caudal longer, its length from subterminal notch to caudal tip over
twice second dorsal base. Sides above pectoral bases marked with a white patch extending forward from the abdominal area
Teeth mostly with two or three cusplets on each side of cusp. Three or four rows of small intermediate teeth between upper anterior and lateral rows. Second dorsal fin origin over or slightly posterior to insertions of pelvic fins
Lower anerolateral teeth with long, hooked cusps that protrude from the mouth? Long gill slits, 1.8 to 3 times the eye length in adults?
Lower teeth with long, hooked cusps that protrude distinctly from snout. Snout obtusely wedge-shaped in dorsoventral view. No toothless space at midline of jaws. Fins not strongly crescent shaped, posterior margins of anal and second dorsal moderately concave, pectorals and pelvic fin posterior margins straight or slightly concave
Lower teeth with short cusps that protrude slightly from snout. White-tipped second dorsal fin. Upper anterolateral teeth with very short cusps. No cusplets on lower teeth, teeth an inverted Y shape. 37-43 teeth in lower jaw, and body size ranges from 47-79cm.
rows than uppers. Pelvic and dorsal fins, and ventral caudal lobe strongly falcate
Found off of northern Australia. Black-tipped second dorsal fin. Lower teeth with long, hooked cusps that protrude from snout. 45-52 teeth in the lower jaw, and body size smaller - ranging from 26-65cm
Long upper labial furrows with a blunt and wide snout? Dusky bars present on back?
Galeocerdo - Tiger Shark
Upper labial furrows very long, extending to front of eyes. Spiracles present and relatively large. Prominent lateral keels on caudal peduncle. Vertical black or dusky bars on back, obscure or absent on adults
Head greatly depressed with broadly triangular pectoral fins? Postventral margin of caudal fin shallowly concave?
Head greatly depressed and trowel-shaped. Pectoral fins broadly triangular, length from origins to free rear tips about equal to their anterior margins. Free rear tip of first dorsal about over midbases of pelvic fins. Postventral margin
of caudal fin usually only shallowly concave. Distance from second dorsal fin to anal fin origin is 4.6-6.2% of total length. Head length is 25.4% total length.
No eye notches. Labial furrows long, but reduced in a some species. First dorsal base usually less than 2 times in distance between pectoral and pelvic fin bases
Slender, grey to grey-brown body with a white underside. Narrow snout and large eyes. The fins are slightly darker in color than the body. The mouth has unique, long labial folds at the corners. The second dorsal fin is small. The anal fin has a pair of long pre-anal ridges. There is no interdorsal ridge.
First dorsal is located directly over or slightly in front of the pectoral rear tips. The second dorsal fin originates above the middle of the anal fin. Dorsal surface has white spots in adults. Second dorsal fin originates over or behind midpoint of anal fin
Brown to grey body, slender with a long snout. Long labial furrows are present around the corners of the mouth. The first dorsal fin is typically over or just behind the free tips of the pectoral fins.
Found throughout the Indo-West Pacific. Bronze to greyish body color with a white underside, pale margins on the pectoral fins. Upper lobe of caudal fin linked with black. Second dorsal fin slightly smaller than anal fin, and promiinent preanal ridges are present. Long, narrowly rounded snout. Very small labial furrows.
Found only in northern Australia, southern West Papua and Papua New Guinea. Bronze to greyish body color with a white underside, dark margins on the pectoral fins. Upper lobe of caudal fin linked with black. Second dorsal fin slightly smaller than anal fin. Preanal ridges very long. Long, narrowly rounded snout with very short labial furrows.
Dark grey to bronze grey coloration with a white underside. First dorsal fin is irregularly edged with white, and cadual fin is entirely edged with black. Other fins may be tipped with black. No interdorsal ridge present. Snout is broadly rounded and eyes are large.
Very slender body with a color pattern of round, dark brown spots and indistinct saddles. First dorsal fin origin located behind pectoral fins. Large anterior nasal flaps, with posterior ends nearly reaching upper symphysis.
Stout body with color pattern being a combination of large red undulating blotches, spots, and lines. First dorsal fin origin in front of pectoral fin rear tips. Smaller anterior nasal flaps, with posterior ends falling well in front of mouth.
Extremely long upper labial furrows? Anterior nasal flaps formed as slender barbels? No supraorbital crescent present?
Leptocharias - Barbeled Houndshark
Anterior nasal flaps formed posterior tooth as slender barbels. Upper labial furrows extremely long, nearly equal to internarial and over half mouth width. Intestinal valve with 14 to 16 turns. No supraorbital crests on cranium
Anterior nasal flaps formed inro slender barbels. Almost humpbacked, grey colour above and light colour below, dark saddles in young and some adults. Snout short and broadly rounded, eyes elongated, labial furrows moderately long.
Usually a few small dark spots or blotches on dorsal surface of body. Grey to brown above, white below, trailing edges of dorsal fins dark. Aduts range from 50 to 60 cm. Found in the eastern North Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Origin of first dorsal fin over or behind rear tips of pectoral fins? Origin of second dorsal fin in front of anal fin origin?
Snout usually sharply pointed. Pectoral fins considerably shorter than head, relatively narrow-tipped in young and pointed in adults. Origin of anal fin about under midbase of second dorsal fin. Underside of snout and mouth white
Snout narrowly to bluntly pointed. Pectoral fins about as long as head, relatively broad-tipped in young and adults. Origin of anal fin about under insertion of second dorsal fin. Underside of snout and mouth dusky
Stout body with a short snout and secondary keels present on the caudal base? First dorsal fin may have a white patch on the trailing edge.
Lamna - Mackerel Sharks
Snout relatively long, distance from snout tip to eye 2 or less times in distance from eye to first gill opening. Underside of body white, without dark spots and blotches, free rear tip of first dorsal abruptly white
Snout shorter, distance from snout tip to eye 2.5 or more times in distance from eye to first gill opening. Underside of body white with dark spots and blotches (except possibly in very small individuals)
Conical snout, first dorsal fin is large and triangular - originating over inner margins of pectoral fin. Teeth are serrated. Gill slits long, second dorsal and anal fins very small. Adult body size ranges from 4.5m to 6.0m
Colour pattern of obscure dusky saddles on back, sometimes obsolete in adults, fins not conspicuously light-edged. Anterior nasal flaps do not overlap mouth. Large species, adults to one metre or more. If present, claspers are broad and not greatly elongated.
Colour pattern of prominent dusky saddles on back and broad dark lines on head, fins dusky with conspicuous light edges. Large species, adults to one metre or more. If present, claspers are broad and not greatly elongated.
Cephaloscyllium nascione - See C. laticeps
Anterior nasal flaps have prominent barbels. Short upper labial furrows present in addition to lower labial furrows
Anterior nasal flaps without barbels (in some cases medial projections are present at) Lower labial furrows present, upper labial furrows absent
A large species, exceeding 1 m. Saddles well developed in adults. Colour pattern includes numerous small light spots uniformly distributed on sides and back. Anterior nasal flaps not greatly expanded. No nasoral grooves.
Small and large dark spots, sometimes white spots densely distributed over head, fins, or saddle marks, Saddle marks inconspicuous or masked by spots. Anterior nasal flaps not greatly expanded. No nasoral grooves.
Saddle marks clearly visible, outlined by borders of black spots or broken black lines. Usually no white spots, but very few if present. Anterior nasal flaps not greatly expanded. No nasoral grooves.
Narrow head, lighter base colour with slightly darker saddles and numerous black spots, anal base as long as or longer than interdorsal space. Anterior nasal flaps not greatly expanded. No nasoral grooves.
Short distance between pectoral and pelvic bases. Anal fin base 2.5 to 3.5 times fin height. Black, brown or grey colouring. Broad, rounded snout with the mouth positioned mostly under the eyes. Eyes are larger, their length much greater than widest gill slit.
Long distance between pectoral and pelvic bases longer. Anal fin base is short and 4 to 5 times the fin height. Black, brown or grey colouring. Broad, rounded snout with the mouth positioned mostly under the eyes. Eyes are larger, their length much greater than widest gill slit.
Longer anal base longer. Pelvic fins relatively high and broadly rounded. Black, brown or grey colouring. Broad, rounded snout with the mouth positioned mostly under the eyes. Eyes are larger, their length much greater than widest gill slit.
Narrow nostrils and very wide gill slits. Fins have prominent white edges. Anal fin tall and broadly rounded - about twice as long as its height. Long distance between pectoral and pelvic fin bases.
Mouth very short and relatively small, not expanded in front of eyes and with dental bands not greatly enlarged. First dorsal about two-thirds of area of second, extending anteriorly as a long, low ridge to nearly over pelvic origins.
Body stout and strongly tapering to head. Lateral trunk denticles very sparse on body, not overlapping. Nostrils with circular, broad incurrent and excurrent apertures. Anal fin broadly rounded, caudal fin very narrow. Tips of dorsal fins a white colour
Body slender and not strongly tapering to head. Lateral trunk denticles more close-set on body, nearly overlapping. Nostrils with elongate-oval, narrow incurrent and excurrent apertures. Anal fin subangular, caudal fin broader. Tips of dorsal fins plain
15 to 18 dorsal saddle blotches on back. Free rear tip of anal fin reaches or extends past lower caudal origin. A large species, adults over 50 cm. Mouth lining usually black. Base of precaudal tail fairly high and compressed
Snout more elongated, mouth longer and more narrowly arched with lining usually black. Saddle blotches grey or blackish grey and less than 11 are usually present. Free rear tip of anal fin falling in front of lower caudal origin. Adults less than 45 cm
Tip of snout upturned, colour pattern of about 26 narrow dark bars, the darkest in pairs with a light bar in between and numerous small brown spots and vermiculate marks between the bars. Head rather narrow, mouth small and short
Tip of snout upturned, colour pattern of about 10 darker saddles consisting of dark bars surrounding a light centre, and with spots few or absent between the saddles. Head rather broad, mouth large and broad