Distinctive Characters: A large shark, with enormous upper caudal lobe, at least as long as rest of shark. No grooves on nape; profile of head not indented. Eyes moderately large and extending onto dorsal surface of head. First dorsal fin much larger than second, and located just behind pectoral fin insertions.
Colour: Dark above and abruptly white below. White area extends over pectoral fin bases.
Habitat and Biology: Coastal over the continental and insular shelves and epipelagic far from land. Young often close inshore. Feeds mainly on schooling fishes, but also on cephalopods and pelagic crustaceans. Ovoviviparous and apparently a uterine cannibal, number of young 2 – 4 litter.
Distribution: Circumglobal in warm seas.
Remarks: Alopias vulpinus was first recorded from Maldivian offshore waters by USSR research vessels (Gubanov, 1978). It occurs regularly in offshore shark longline catches, and is also on very rare occasions seen by divers near the atolls.