Galapagos Species Database

The Galapagos Species Database shares the information about the species from our Natural History Collections.

Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828

tiburón ballena, Whale shark

Adult female of Rhincodon typus, Darwin's Arch, Galapagos. Photo: Sofia Green, CDF.
Adult female of Rhincodon typus, Darwin's Arch, Galapagos. Photo: Sofia Green, CDF.

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.

Taxonomy

Domain
Eukaryota

Kingdom
Animalia

Phylum
Chordata

Class
Elasmobranchii

Order
Orectolobiformes

Suborder
Galeomorphi

Family
Rhincodontidae

Genus
Rhincodon

Species
typus

Taxon category: Accepted

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)

Taxon origin: Native

Status

Vulnerable

Distribution

Distribution: 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

References

  • Grove, J.S. Lavenberg, R.J. (1997) The Fishes of the Galapagos Islands. Stanford University Press, Stanford California. 862 pp.
  • Humann, P. Deloach, N. (2003) Reef Fish Identification - Galapagos. New World Publication, Inc. Florida USA & Libri Mundi, Quito, Ecuador, 226 pp.
  • Appeltans, W. Bouchet, P., Boxshall, G.A., Fauchald, K., Gordon, D.P., Hoeksema, B.W., Poore, G.C.B., van Soest, R.W.M., Stöhr, S., Walter, T.C., Costello, M.J. (eds.) (2010) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). Available online at http://www.marinespecies.org.
  • IUCN (2010) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 April 2010.
  • Norman, B. (2005) Rhincodon typus www.iucnredlist.org
  • Froese, R. Pauly, D. (eds.) (2010) FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org
  • McCosker, J.E. Rosenblatt, R.H. (2010) The fishes of the Galápagos Archipelago: an update. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sc., Ser. 4, vol. 61, Suppl. II, no. 11: 167-195.
  • Constant, P. (2007) Marine Life of the Galapagos. The Diver's guide to Fishes, Whales, Dolphins and marine Invertebrates, 307 pp.
You are welcome to download and use the information found in this page, acknowledging the origin of the data.
This page should be cited as follows:
"Galapagos Species Database, Rhincodon typus", dataZone. Charles Darwin Foundation, https://datazone.darwinfoundation.org/en/checklist/?species=7852. Accessed 21 July 2024.