Leopard Shark

Common Name: Leopard Shark
Scientific Name: Triakis semifasciata


The body of the leopard shark is elongate, and the snout is short and bluntly rounded. This shark is easily identified by the gray coloration over most of its body, and the black spots and crossbars on the back and side. It is white underneath.


Mazatlan, Mexico, to Oregon. This well decorated species is abundant in bays and along sandy beaches of southern and central California in shallow water. During the fall, large numbers may be found in San Francisco and Monterey Bays.

Natural History

The leopard shark eats a variety of fishes and invertebrates like anchovies, squid or crab, all of which make good bait. Females, which bear their young live, usually produce 4 to 29 pups in a litter.

Fishing Information

It is considered a relatively harmless shark and is timid around divers; nevertheless, handle a live leopard shark with care. The leopard shark is very good eating, and has been compared favorably to salmon.

Other Common Names

Cat Shark

Largest Recorded

7 feet; 70 pounds.


Bay Environment