Carcharhinus hemiodon (Müller & Henle, 1839)

Pondicherry shark



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: pre-1960 (Kyne et al., 2021)

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


There have been quite a few reports of the species since 1960 (e.g. De Silva, 2014; Rodrigo, 2016; Sankar, 2018), however, the latest IUCN RedList assessment (2020) found that there have been no reliable records since the last museum specimen was collected prior to 1960 (Kyne et al., 2021):

"The contemporary range of this species is poorly defined and museum specimens were collected pre-1960. There are reports from 1979, the 1990s, and 2000, but none of these could be verified. Its identification is problematic, and it is easily confused with a number of other Carcharhinus species (for example, recent putative records from Sri Lanka)."

"Misidentification and misreporting through confusion with other carcharhinids are ongoing issues, although there now exists reasonable capacity and knowledge across its historic range to correctly identify Pondicherry Shark if it persists. The increasing use of genetic barcoding, including for dried fins or other body parts, has also increased the likelihood of detection of rare species. Despite this, no samples that would be attributable to this species have been detected using such barcoding techniques."



Indo-West Pacific Ocean


Biology & Ecology

"Little is known about its biology, however, considering shape of its teeth and habitat of occurrence, it can be speculated to consume small fishes, cephalopods (cuttlefish/squid) and crustaceans (Compagno and Niem, 1998). Like other sharks, its mode of reproduction ought to be aplacental viviparity (Dulvy and Reynolds, 1997)."

(Moazzam & Osmany, 2022:207)









Original scientific description:

Müller, J. and Henle, F. G. J. (1839). Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen (Veit, Berlin), pp. 29-102.


Other references:

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. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Volume 4, Part 1.

Compagno, L. J. V. (In prep). b. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the shark species known to date. Volume 3. (Carcharhiniformes). FAO Species Catalogue for Fisheries Purposes No. 1, Vol.3. FAO, Rome.

Compagno, L. J. V. and Niem, V. H. (1998). Carcharhinidae. Requiem sharks, pp. 1312-1360. In: Carpenter, K. E. and Niem, V. H. (eds.). FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Rome: FAO.

Compagno, L. J. V., White, W. and Fowler, S. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003). (2003). Carcharhinus hemiodon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T39369A10185838. Downloaded on 16 December 2015.

Hilton-Taylor, C. (2000). 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Holmes, Branden. (2021). What's Lost and What Remains: The Sixth Extinction in 100 Accounts (eBook). Self published.

Kyne, P.M., Jabado, R.W., Akhilesh, K.V., Bineesh, K.K., Booth, H., Dulvy, N.K., Ebert, D.A., Fernando, D., Khan, M., Tanna, A. & Finucci, B. 2021. Carcharhinus hemiodon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T39369A115736695. Accessed on 30 July 2022.

Moazzam, Muhammad and Osmany, Hamid Badar. (2022). Species composition, commercial landings, distribution and some aspects of biology of shark (Class Pisces) of Pakistan: medium-sized demersal sharks. Int. J. Biol. Biotech. 19(2): 197-219.

Munro, I. S. R. (1958). The fishes of the New Guinea region. A check-list of the fishes of New Guinea incorporating records of species collected by the Fisheries Survey Vessel "Fairwind" during the years 1948 to 1950. Territory of Papua and New Guinea Fisheries Bulletin No. 1. Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries, Port Moresby.

Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G. and Jabado, R. W. (2021). Sharks and Rays of the Arabian Sea and Adjacent Waters, pp. 443-477. In: Jawad, L. (ed.). The Arabian Seas: Biodiversity, Environmental Challenges and Conservation Measures. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Rodrigo, Malaka. (14 February 2016). ‘Extinct’ shark spotted in Menik Ganga. The Sunday Times, 14 February, available at: [Accessed 11 August 2021]

Sankar, K. N. Murali. (10 September 2018). ‘Pondicherry shark’ spotted near Kakinada. The Hindu, 10 September, available at: [Accessed 16 August 2020]

De Silva, R. I. (2014). The pondicherry shark Carcharhinus hemiodon in marine and freshwater habitats in Sri Lanka. Loris 27: 46–48.



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