Glyphis gangeticus (Müller & Henle, 1839)

Ganges shark



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Carcharias gangeticus Müller & Henle, 1839 (protonym); Carcharhinus gangeticus (Müller & Henle, 1839); Eulamia gangetica (Müller & Henle, 1839); Platypodon gangeticus (Müller & Henle, 1839); Carcharias murrayi Günther, 1883 Günther, 1883


Carcharias murrayi was synonymised with Glyphis gangeticus by (Compagno et al., 2010). G. siamensis and G. fowlerae considered synonyms by (Li et al., 2015).


Conservation Status

Last record: 1800's

Rediscovered in 1996

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered



Indo-West Pacific, including Arabian Sea


"According to Notarbartolo-di-Sciara and Jabado (2021) Ganges shark is a rarely occurring Indo-West Pacific shark confined to freshwater, estuarine, and coastal habitats including Arabian Sea. There is no doubt that the Ganges sharks used to occurring in Pakistan but never common. A specimen collected from Karachi was described by Günther (1883) as Carcharia murrayi which is considered to be a synonym of this species (Compagno et al., 2010). No specimen of this species was recorded from Pakistan, although monitoring of shark catch is being done for past 50 years in all major fish harbours. It seems that it is already locally extinct. Monitoring has also been done in Indus estuarine area and also in lower reaches of the River Indus but so far, no evidence of its presence in the area could be collected. "

(Moazzam & Osmany, 2022:213)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

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


Other references:

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). (1996). 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Compagno, L., Dando, M. and Fowler, S. 2005. A field guide to the sharks of the world. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd., London.

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World: an annotated and illustrated catalogue of the shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Vol. 4(2). FAO, Rome.

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. The mysterious Ganges shark. Ichthos 7: 25-26.

Compagno, L. J. V. (1997). Threatened fishes of the world: Glyphis gangeticus (Müller & Henle, 1839) (Carcharhinidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 40: 400.

Compagno, L. J. V. (2002). Freshwater and estuarine elasmobranch surveys in the Indo-Pacific region: threats, distribution and speciation. In: S.L. Fowler, T.M. Reed and F.A. Dipper (eds) Elasmobranch Biodiversity, Conservation and Management; Proceedings of the International Seminar and Workshop, Sabah, Malaysia, July 1997. IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Compagno, L. J. V. (2005). Ganges shark Glyphis gangeticus. In: Fowler, S.L., Cavanagh, R.D., Camhi, M., Burgess, G.H., Cailliet, G.M., Fordham, S.V., Simpfendorfer, C.A. and Musick, J.A. (eds). Sharks, rays and chimaeras: the status of the Chondrichthyan fishes. pp. 305-306. IUCN Species Survival Commission Shark Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK.

Compagno, L. J. V. (2007). Glyphis gangeticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T9281A12978210. Downloaded on 14 November 2016.

Compagno, L.J.V., White, W.T. & Cavanagh, R.D. (2010). Glyphis fowlerae sp. nov., a new species of river shark (Carcharhiniformes; Carcharhinidae) from northeastern Borneo, pp. 29-44. In: P.R. Last, W.T. White, J.J. Pogonoski (eds.). Descriptions of New Sharks and Rays from Borneo. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper 032, 165 pp.

Haque, Alifa Bintha and Das, Sudipta Arka. (2019). New records of the Critically Endangered Ganges shark Glyphis gangeticus in Bangladeshi waters: urgent monitoring needed. Endangered Species Research 40: 65-73.

Jabado, R. W., Kyne, P. M., Nazareth, E. and Sutaria, D. N. (2018). A rare contemporary record of the Critically Endangered Ganges shark Glyphis gangeticus. Journal of Fish Biology. [Abstract]

Li, Chenhong et al. (2015). DNA capture reveals transoceanic gene flow in endangered river sharks. PNAS 112(43): 13302-13307.

Liu, J.Y. [Ruiyu] (ed.). (2008). Checklist of marine biota of China seas. China Science Press. 1267 pp.

Martin, R. A. (2005). Conservation of freshwater and euryhaline elasmobranchs: a review. Journal of the Marine Biological Association U.K. 85(5): 1049-1073.

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.

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.

Roberts, T. R. (2005). Debunking the mythology of the so-called 'freshwater shark of the Ganges', Glyphis gangeticus (Elasmobranchii, Carcharhinidae). In: 7th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference. Howard International Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan. Academica Sinica, Taipei: Ichythological Society of Taiwan. [Abstract Book].

Roberts, T. R. (2006). Rediscovery of Glyphis gangeticus: debunking the mythology of the supposed “Gangetic freshwater shark”. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 54(2): 261-278.


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