English common name: Whale shark
Spanish common name: tiburón ballena
Local name: tiburón ballena
Taxonomic comments: Syn.: Micristodus punctatus Gill, 1865, Rhiniodon typus (Smith, 1828), Rhinodon pentalineatus Kishinouye, 1901, Rhinodon typicus Müller & Henle, 1839, Rhinodon typicus Smith, 1845, fide Appeltans et al. (2010)
Name status: Accepted name; taxon occurs in Galapagos.
Description: Size: Maximum lengths remains uncertain, but 18.3 m TL has been stated as credible. Gray to gray-brown, fading to white underside; thin whitish lines join spots on back. Three ridges run on sides from head to base of tail; first dorsal fin more than halfway back on body. World's largest fish.
Habitat: Open waters in regions of upwelling.
Last updated: 23 Jan 2014
Vulnerable - Considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
The IUCN Red List assessments presented here may deviate from the global IUCN listings for the following reasons:
Galapagos island groups: Santa Cruz.
Rare. Throughout tropical waters, in the eastern Pacific from off California and Mexico to nothern Chile and Galapagos. Worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters. Circumtropical
Please be aware that this distribution map is automatically generated from database records (CDF and external specimens, literature records, and observations) and may not accurately reflect the currently-known distribution for all species.