Latin name

Stegostoma tigrinum

Other names

Stegostoma tigrinum


The body of the Zebra Shark is cylindrical, with five protruding longitudinal ridges on the skin (in adults). The head is broad and somewhat flattened. The gill slits are small; there are 5 pairs. The spatula is large. Nostrils with short antennae. Mouth moderately large, teeth poorly differentiated, with central apex and two lateral teeth; 28-33 in upper jaw and 22-32 in lower jaw.

Features of fish fins

No spines on the fins. The first dorsal fin is larger than the second. The pectoral fins are rather large and broad, much larger than the pelvic fins. The pelvic fins are smaller than the first dorsal fin, but larger than the second, and about equal to or slightly larger than the anal fin. The caudal fin is very long, about half the total length of the shark, and has no lower lobe.

Fish colouring

Adults are yellow-brown with dark brown spots; the belly is pale. Juveniles (up to 70 cm) are quite different: they are dark with white spots and vertical stripes. 


Widespread in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, sometimes found in the southern part of the Sea of Japan.


Zebra sharks are found only in the intertidal zone. However, they live in a variety of habitats within this zone. The maximum recorded depth is no more than 203 feet (62 meters). However, most individuals prefer shallow depths. They are commonly found along the continental shelf.


The shark can reach a length of 2.3 m, very rarely 3 m. Its weight is about 30 kg (65 lb). In the wild, they live for 25-30 years.


Zebra sharks hide on the ocean floor all day, relying on their camouflage coloration. At night, they hunt. They make long seasonal migrations of up to 1,000 kilometers per year. They are usually solitary creatures, but sometimes gather in large groups.

Food and feeding habits

Zebra sharks feed mainly on mollusks, but also on crustaceans and small fish.


This species is an egg-laying shark. Its egg capsules are quite large (up to 17 cm in length), elongated and have horny appendages that attach them to the bottom.


It is of little commercial importance, but is still caught throughout its range. Occasionally caught as bycatch; also caught by recreational fishermen.

Relationship with a person

This shark is not aggressive and does not pose a threat to humans (although it may bite if provoked). It tolerates captivity relatively well: it is often found in oceanarium and aquarium exhibits.

Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Squad Orectolobiformes
Family Stegostomatidae
Genus Stegostoma
Species S. tigrinum
Conservation status Endangered
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years 30
Maximum body weight, kg 30
Maximum length, cm 300
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Zebra shark

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