Zebra Shark

Identity card

Zebra Shark

Scientific name:
Stegostoma tigrinum (fasciatum
Year of description:
Forster, 1781
IUCN Status:

Not evaluated


Indian Ocean and Southwest Pacific Ocean.


It lives near coral reefs. It is found at depths of down to 63 metres but more commonly between 5 and 30 metres.


The zebra shark measures up to 2.40 metres


It feeds on molluscs, small fish and crustaceans.

Conservation program:

Nausicaá is involved in programmes for the zebra shark at a lower level of engagement called the ESB-European StudBook.

Zebra Shark

Several zebra sharks have been born at Nausicaá as part of a European conservation program!

A zebra shark born in Nausicaá recently joined the Island Stories area in the Mankind and Shores exhibition.


Birth of zebra sharks in Nausicaá!

Did you know? 

Biomimetics: the shark has inspired the creation of some innovative technologies. Its skin has been used as a model for creating antibacterial, hydro/aerodynamic and antifouling clothing; its fins have helped to improve the stability of airplanes thanks to “sharklets” and the shape of its tail has served as inspiration for tidal steam generators.

Where is the animal to be found?

This shark lives mainly in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It spends most of the day perched on a reef, in a coral environment. It can be found at depths down to 63 metres, but more commonly between 5 and 30 metres. 

The zebra shark is a peaceful animal if it feels safe and can be approached by those who know how to be respectful. An opportunity for divers to take a superb souvenir photo!

How can it be recognised?

At birth, this shark's coat is striped like that of a zebra. Then, as it grows, it changes to become spotted like that of a leopard as an adult. The zebra shark can measure up to 2.40 metres. 

With its flat teeth and powerful jaws, it can break the shells of the molluscs and crustaceans that it hunts at night.

What is distinctive about it?

This species is oviparous; the female lays 2 to 4 eggs in envelopes measuring between 15 and 20 cm long.

Threat and protective measure

EN - Endangered and declining further.

Its population, which until 2015 had the VU status (vulnerable species), is now considered as an endangered species.

This species is only protected when it lives in a protected marine area. Otherwise, there are no measures.

Since 2022, the StAR project in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, has aimed to raise young zebra sharks from eggs collected in public aquariums until they are able to feed themselves in order to reintroduce them into the wild.

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?


Zebra Shark

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