Leopard Shark

Leopard Shark

Triakis semifasciata

Physical Description

The Leopard Shark, also known as Triakis semifasciata, boasts a distinctive appearance characterized by its slender body adorned with striking black leopard-like spots over a light brown or gray background. Typically, these sharks measure between 1.2 to 1.5 meters in length, with females often larger than males. They possess broad, rounded pectoral fins and a slender, elongated tail fin, contributing to their graceful movement through the water.


Leopard Sharks prefer shallow coastal waters, including sandy flats, rocky reefs, and kelp forests along the eastern Pacific coast. They are commonly found in bays, estuaries, and nearshore habitats, where they can exhibit both coastal and offshore movements.

Geographical Range

The distribution of Leopard Sharks spans from Oregon in the United States to the Gulf of California in Mexico, encompassing the entire eastern Pacific coast. They thrive in temperate marine environments characterized by moderate water temperatures and suitable prey availability.

What They Eat

As opportunistic predators, Leopard Sharks feed primarily on bottom-dwelling prey such as small fishes, crustaceans, mollusks, and benthic invertebrates. Their diet may vary depending on seasonal and environmental factors, with juveniles often consuming smaller prey items compared to adults.