Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes
(Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae
Etymology: Prionace: prion (Gr.), saw; akis (Gr.), point or barb, referring to serrated (saw-like) cusps on teeth of upper jaw. (See ETYFish); glauca: Latin for bluish green or gray (i.e., sea-colored), referring to its color (blue above, whitish below). (See ETYFish).
More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 1082 m (Ref. 89422), usually 1 - 220 m (Ref. 55193). Subtropical; 7°C - 21°C (Ref. 244); 71°N - 55°S, 180°W - 180°E
Circumglobal in temperate and tropical waters. Western Atlantic: Newfoundland, Canada to Argentina. Central Atlantic. Eastern Atlantic: Norway to South Africa, including the Mediterranean. Indo-West Pacific: East Africa to Indonesia, Japan, Australia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of Alaska to Chile. Probably the widest ranging chondrichthyian. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 199.1, range 170 - 221 cm
Max length : 400 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); common length : 335 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 205.9 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 27347)
soft rays: 0. A slim, graceful blue shark with a long, conical snout, large eyes, and curved triangular upper teeth with saw edges; pectorals long and narrow; no interdorsal ridge (Ref. 5578). Dark blue dorsally, bright blue on the sides, white ventrally (Ref. 5578). Tips of pectoral fins and anal fin dusky (Ref. 9997). The first case of diprosopus tetrophthalmus (cranofacial duplication) in a foetus of this species was reported from South Atlantic (Ref. 119190).
Oceanic, but may be found close inshore where the continental shelf is narrow (Ref. 6871, 58302). Usually found to at least 150 m (Ref. 26938). Maximum size from Ref. 128029. Reported from estuaries (Ref. 26340). Epipelagic, occasionally occurs in littoral areas (Ref. 58302). Feeds on fishes (herring, silver hake, white hake, red hake, cod, haddock, pollock, mackerel, butterfish, sea raven and flounders (Ref. 5951)), small sharks, squids, pelagic red crabs, cetacean carrion, occasional sea birds and garbage (Ref. 5578). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Sexual dimorphism occurs in skin thickness of maturing and adult females (Ref. 49562). May travel considerable distances (one specimen tagged in New Zealand was recaptured 1,200 km off the coast of Chile) (Ref. 26346). Potentially dangerous to humans (Ref. 6871, 13513). Marketed fresh, dried or salted, and frozen; meat utilized for consumption, hides for leather and fins for soup (Ref. 9987). Sexually mature at 250 cm long and 4-5 years old. The female gives birth up to 80 young measuring 40 cm long, gestation lasts almost a year (Ref. 35388). Produces from 4 to 135 young a litter (Ref. 26938).
Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205). Viviparous (Ref. 26281), placental (Ref. 50449); 4-63 young in a litter (Ref. 9997); 4-135 (usually 15-30) pups (Ref.58048), about 35-44 cm at birth. Gestation period ranges from 9 to 12 months (Ref. 244).
Sexual dimorphism is evident in skin thickness of maturing and adult females (Ref. 49562). Females have thicker skin layer than males of the same size (Ref. 49562).
Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 244)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes