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Author: (Dumeril, 1853)

Field Marks:
A catshark with a stout body, no labial furrows, and with a striking colour pattern of mottled dark dorsal and lateral blotches and small to moderately large dark spots on light ground colour, light undersides with slight mottling on at least fins, anterior nasal flaps short, subtriangular, and not overlapping mouth posteriorly, and second dorsal fin much smaller than first.

Diagnostic Features:
Snout broadly rounded in dorsoventral view, rather short and broad; anterior nasal flaps subtriangular, not overlapping mouth posteriorly. Claspers short and stout. Colour pattern of variegated dark brown or greyish blotches and saddles and numerous dark and some light spots on a lighter grey or chestnut background on body and fins, underside of head and abdomen cream, not strongly spotted; fins without conspicuous light margins.

Geographical Distribution:
Western Pacific: Australia (South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales).

Habitat and Biology:
A temperate-water swellshark found in shallow to deepish water on or near the bottom on the continental shelf from close inshore down to 220 m. Can expand itself with air or water. Oviparous.

Maximum at least 97 cm (adults).

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present, caught by commercial bottom trawlers.

See generic remarks, above, for a discussion of the separation of this species from C. isabellum, which is uncertain at present.

Type material:
Holotype: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MNHN A.9378, stuffed male 790 mm long. Type Locality: New Holland (Tasmania).

Australian swellshark (Cephaloscyllium laticeps)