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Australian Wildlife

  Pelagic Thresher (Alopias pelagicus)





Pelagic Thresher | Alopias pelagicus photo
Pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) caught by longline.

Image by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



PELAGIC THRESHER FACTS

Description
The Pelagic Thresher has a very long and strap like upper tail lobe, about half the total length of the shark. It has fairly small eyes, a conical snout and large straight pectoral fins with broad tips. It is dark blue above with white underside. There are three species of thresher sharks recorded from Australian waters - the other two are the Bigeye Thresher which has much bigger eyes and the Thresher Shark which has more pointed pectoral fins.

Size
total length to 3.5m. Average size 2.5m to 3m.

Habitat
mainly an oceanic species but sometimes found close inshore. Found in depths to 300m.

Food
Feeds on small fishes and cephalopods. The long tail is used to round up fish and then stun them.

Breeding
Ovoviviparous with two pups per litter.

Range
The Pelagic Thresher is found in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. In Australian waters it is found off western Australia and eastern Australia.



Classification
Class:Chondrichthyes
Order:Lamniformes
Family:Alopiidae
Genus:Alopias
Species:pelagicus
Common Name:Pelagic Thresher

Relatives in same Genus
  Bigeye Thresher Shark (A. superciliosus)
  Thresher Shark (A. vulpinus)