Speartooth Shark Glyphis glyphis species information - Fact Sheet

Conservation Status of Speartooth Shark Glyphis glyphis

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Endangered
Commonwealth: Critically Endangered
Northern Territory: Vulnerable


The Speartooth Shark is thought to be a large whaler shark. It is characterised by small eyes, a second dorsal fin, which is more than half the height of its first dorsal fin, a broadly rounded snout, and upper teeth which are triangular and serrated, and broader than the lower teeth. The 'watermark' marking on the side of the head extends only marginally below the eyes.

Born at about 50 cm in length and thought to reach 250-300 cm, but adults of this species have never be observed.

The Speartooth Shark is only known from nine river systems across northern Australia, although it also occurs in southern New Guinea. Juveniles and subadults occupy the turbid, tidal reaches of large tropical rivers, and adults are presumably coastal and marine.

Related information:

  • Catch up on news, watch videos and download resources from the sawfish and river shark research undertaken during the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) 2011 - 2014
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