Daytime Hiders, Nighttime Hunters
Not to be confused with its cousin, the oceanic whitetip shark, the whitetip reef shark prefers to spend most of its time resting in small caves and caverns amongst the reef. Unlike most requiem species, he does not need to swim continuously to breathe. They are similar to the nurse shark in that they can pump water over their gills to keep them freshly oxygenated, allowing whitetips the ability to lie on the ocean’s bottom or stay still, suspended in the water inside a small cave. If you are looking for them while scuba diving your best bet in finding them is to look into all of the caverns and overhangs.
They are nocturnal, coming out at night to hunt for food, so many night divers may encounter them swimming while night diving. They love to hunt fish, crustaceans, and octopus for food. These animals are considered non-aggressive towards humans and are generally not threatened by human presence, allowing divers excellent photographic opportunities. Whitetips are the most common reef shark in the Indo-Pacific region and can be found as far east as the Central American Pacific coast and as far west as South Africa. Click on the map below to find the best locations around the world to dive with them.