Author: (Peters, 1864)
A rather slender wobbegong, less flattened than most, with a few slender dermal lobes on sides of head, simple, unbranched nasal barbels, symphyseal groove on chin, conspicuous warty tubercles in rows on the dorsal surface of the body and dorsal fin bases, dorsal fins very low and long, with heights half their base lengths, first dorsal origin in front of pelvic midbases, striking variegated colour pattern of broad dark, dorsal saddles wilth jagged, corrugated edges, interspaced with light areas with irregular dark spots; also, mouth in front of eyes, nasoral grooves and circumnarial grooves present, two rows of enlarged fanglike teeth in upper jaw and three in lower jaw.
Dorsal surface of head, body and precaudal tail, and dorsal fin bases, with rows of large, conspicuous dermal tubercles, resembling warts. Head rather narrow, its greatest width slightly less than distance from snout tip to first gill openings; chin smooth, without a beard of dermal lobes; dermal lobes of sides and front of head small, short, unbranched, and forming isolated groups that are broadly separated from one another; nasal barbels simple and unbranched. Trunk moderately broad, width across pectoral insertions considerably less than head length; precaudal tail rather long, distance from pelvic insertion to lower caudal origin much greater than head length. Dorsal fins low and long, height of first about half its base length, length of first dorsal base greater than pelvic length from origin to free rear tip; origin of first dorsal fin in front of midbases of pelvics; interspace between first and second dorsal fins much shorter than first dorsal inner margin and less than a fifth of first dorsal base; pectoral and pelvic fins small and widely spaced from each other, distance from pectoral insertions to pelvic origins about twice length of pectoral bases and somewhat greater than pelvic lengths from origins to free rear tips. Colour: dorsal surface with a colour pattern of jagged-edged broad dark saddles and scattered dark spots on a light background, no reticulating narrow lines with spots at their junctions.
Western South Pacific: Confined to Australian waters (Western and South Australia).
A little-known but probably common inshore bottom shark of temperate continental waters, on rocky and coral reefs. Biology almost unknown: presumably ovoviviparous and preying on bottom invertebrates and fishes.
Maximum total length recorded 92 cm, but said to grow as large as the spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) and hence possibly to 2 or 3 m length (Stead, 1963); near full-term young, still with sizeable yolk sacs, were 18 cm long.
Interest to Fisheries:
Holotype: 900 mm. Type Locality: Port Adelaide, South Australia.