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Alopias superciliosus  Lowe, 1841

Bigeye thresher
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Image of Alopias superciliosus (Bigeye thresher)
Alopias superciliosus
Picture by Chow, S.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Lamniformes (Mackerel sharks) > Alopiidae (Thresher sharks)
Etymology: Alopias: Greek, alopex = fox (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 730 m (Ref. 89423), usually 0 - 100 m (Ref. 43278).   Subtropical; 46°N - 40°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 54278)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 154 - 341 cm
Max length : 488 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 350 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 363.8 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 28081)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A large thresher with very large eyes, an indented forehead, a broad caudal tip, and curved broad-tipped pectoral fins; 1st dorsal fin further back than in other threshers (Ref. 5578). Upper lobe of caudal fin very long and strap-like almost or quite equal to length of rest of shark; lower lobe short but well developed (Ref. 13570). Purplish grey above, cream below, posterior edges of pectoral and pelvic fins and sometimes first dorsal fin dusky; light color of abdomen not expanded over pectoral-fin bases (Ref. 13570).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Circumglobal; tropical and temperate seas. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in coastal waters over continental shelves, sometimes close inshore in shallow waters, and on the high seas far from land (Ref. 247, 43278, 58302). Oceanic, pelagic and near bottom at 1->500 m (Ref. 58302). Depth range to at least 500 m (Ref. 247). Feeds on pelagic fishes (lancetfishes, herring, mackerel and small billfishes (Ref. 43278)) and bottom fishes (hake (Ref. 43278)) and squids (Ref. 247). Ovoviviparous, embryos feeding on yolk sac and other ova produced by the mother (Ref. 43278, 50449). Stuns its prey with its long caudal fin (Ref. 247). Utilized for human consumption, liver oil for vitamins, skin for leather, and fins for shark-fin soup (Ref. 247). Marketed fresh and may be broiled, baked or grilled, but unsuitable for steaming, boiling or frying; meat may be salted and dried (Ref. 9987). Also Ref. 33743.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding on other ova produced by the mother (oophagy) after the yolk sac is absorbed (Ref. 50449). With 2-4 young per litter (usually 2) (Ref. 247). Size at birth between 64-106 cm (Ref. 247); 100-140 cm TL (Ref.58048). No fixed mating or birthing season. Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

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 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless (Ref. 247)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01122 (0.00613 - 0.02054), b=2.90 (2.73 - 3.07), based on LWR estimates for species & (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=2-4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (78 of 100) .
low
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.