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Author: Whitley, 1939

Field Marks:
Flattened benthic sharks with dermal lobes on sides of head, symphyseal groove on chin, variegated but rather somber colour pattern of rounded, ocellate dark dorsal saddles with entire edging and light margins, interspaced with broad dusky areas without spots or reticular lines; also, mouth in front of eyes, long, basally branched nasal barbels, nasoral grooves and circumnarial grooves, two rows of enlarged fanglike teeth in upper jaw andthree in lower jaw.

Diagnostic Features:
Head with two dermal lobes below and in front of eye on each side; nasal barbels without branches. No dermal tubercles or ridges on back. Origin of first dorsal fin about over last fourth of pelvic base; first dorsal height about equal to base length; interspace between dorsal fins longer than inner margin of first dorsal, about half first dorsal base. Colour pattern variegated but dull and somber compared to most other wobbegongs, dorsal surface of body with small, rounded, ocellate, light-edged saddle marks margins, separated from each other by broad, dusky spaces without spots or broad reticulated lines.

Geographical Distribution:
Western South Pacific: Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia).

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known but possibly common tropical inshore bottom shark of the Australian northern continental shelf, commonerin northern Australia than western Australia. Probably ovoviviparous. Presumably feeds on bottom invertebrates and fishes, but diet unrecorded.

Maximum total length over 45 cm (immature specimens).

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Type material:
Holotype: Australian Museum, Sydney lAAMS7784, 375 mrn female. Type Locality: Cape Keith, Melville Island, northern Australia.

Northern wobbegong (Orectolobus wardi)