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Zebra Shark

Stegostoma fasciatum


This Zebra Sharks - Stegostoma fasciatum is often confused with Leopard Sharks - Triakis semifasciata. Adults Zebra Sharks are light brown in colour with black spots whereas juveniles are with black stripes, hence its common name. This pair of Leopard Sharks were seen in the midst of their 'courting ritual', with the male Shark 'biting' the female's tail to put her into tonic immobility. Tonic immobility is a natural state of paralysis which animals enter, often called animal hypnosis. Its function is not certain. It may be related to mating in certain animals like sharks. When the female Shark is in tonic immobility, she lays upside down, hardly moving and from time to time, we can see the male Shark 'biting/nibbling' the tail of the female Shark, which continues to put her in tonic immobility. This 'courting ritual' may goes on for hours before the actual mating takes place. We spend more than 30 minutes observing this behaviour, but ran out of bottom time and did not get to see the copulation.


Pic#1- close-up of the female's face, showing not all sharks have sharp teeth. Pic#2 - the female lying upside down in tonic immobility Pic#3 - close-up of male biting the female's tail Pic#5 - showing the whole pair of Zebra sharks

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AlbertKang 5 years ago

Thanks, @Daniele and PN for the join 3rd place :)

DanielePralong 5 years ago

Congratulations Albert, your Zebra shark won joint third position in our 2017 Best Wildlife Photo competition, Fish category:



AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Marta :)

The MnMs
The MnMs 6 years ago

Wow! Awesome moment and great deal of information! Thanks for sharing, Albert!

AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Daniele for this SOTW :)

Thanks too, @Luis, @Sergio, @Bonnie, @Dilan, @triggsturner and @Felix for your kind words and support.
Glad you guys find this Spotting interesting :)

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 6 years ago

Awesome spotting, Albert! Congrats.

triggsturner 6 years ago

Congrats Albert. Great images and notes.

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 6 years ago

Congrats Albert! Nice spotting!!!

BonnieLewis 6 years ago

Excellent perspective!

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 6 years ago

Congratulations, Albert. Very impressive spotting, and - obviously - a well deserved SOTW.

LuisStevens 6 years ago

Congrats Albert!

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Congratulations Albert, this fantastic series has been voted Spotting of the Week! Thank you for your ongoing contributions to Project Noah!


AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Daniele for the nomination.

Thanks, @Mark for the appreciation. This is my second time to encounter them in this situation. The previous time was 2 years ago in Malaysia with this Spotting :

And I posted a video link to it too :D

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Amazing. Thanks for sharing this Albert.

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated Albert!

AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Ava for your kind comments :)

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 6 years ago

Wow! Great notes of really interesting behavior!

Spotted by

Gaafu Dhaalu, Maldives

Spotted on Mar 10, 2017
Submitted on Apr 2, 2017

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