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Hemigaleidae - Weasel Sharks



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Subphylum: Vertebrata
 Class: Chondrichthyes
 Order: Carcharhiniformes
 Family: Hemigaleidae

There are eight species of medium-sized sharks in this family. Most species are around five feet in length. They are found in coastal tropical waters from South Africa and the Red Sea to Japan. One species, the Atlantic weasel shark, is found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. They have torpedo-shaped bodies, round eyes, two dorsal fins, five gill slits, and nictitating eyelids. A nictitating eyelid is a transparent eyelid that protects the eye. Weasel sharks eat bony fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status, or there is no status data for the species.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

Location Key
Africa Africa antarctica Antarctic Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH Species
atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean Indian Ocean Mediterranian Mediterranean/Black Sea pacific ocean Pacific Ocean More InfoClick for More Info pictureClick for Image

New Hampshire Species


 North/Central American Species

None   None

Species Around the World

Hooktooth Shark - Chaenogaleus macrostoma Vulnerable Asia pacific ocean
Australian Weasel Shark - Hemigaleus australiensis Least Concern Australia pacific ocean More Info
Sickle Fin Weasel Shark - Hemigaleus microstoma Vulnerable Asia pacific ocean
Snaggletooth Shark - Hemipristis elongata Vulnerable Africa Asia Australia pacific ocean
  Whitetip Weasel Shark - Paragaleus leucolomatus Africa
Atlantic Weasel Shark - Paragaleus pectoralis Africa atlantic Ocean More Info
Slender Weasel Shark - Paragaleus randalli Near Threatened Asia
Straight-tooth Weasel Shark - Paragaleus tengi Asia pacific ocean

Additional Information

Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Atlantic Weasel Shark - Paragaleus pectoralis profile Photos Africa atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic weasel shark is found off the coast of Africa from Cape Verde to Namibia.
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: High School

Australian Weasel Shark - Hemigaleus australiensis profile Photos Least Concern Australia pacific ocean
The Australian weasel shark is found off the coast of northern Australia.
Source: Queensland Government Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School