Author: (Whitley, 1943)
A moderate-sized, stocky, almost hump-backed houndshark, with anterior nasal flaps formed into slender barbels, nictitating eyelids, eyes dorsolateral and above prominent subocular ridges, mouth arcuate and very short, labial furrows long and reaching level of upper symphysis, teeth compressed, bladelike but well-differentiated in jaws, uppers with oblique cusps and distal cusplets, lowers with erect cusps and no cusplets, dorsal fins about equal-sized and larger than anal fin, first dorsal much shorter than caudal fin, and colour grey above and light below, with dark saddles in young and some adults.
Snout short and broadly rounded or wedge-shaped in dorsoventral view, preoral length about equal to mouth width; eyes horizontally elongated and dorsolateral, strong subocular ridges present below eyes; anterior nasal flaps formed as narrow, elongated barbels, well separated from each other and mouth; no nasoral grooves; internarial width 1.3 to 1.7 times nostril width; mouth broadly arched and short; labial furrows moderately long, uppers reaching anteriorly to level of upper symphysis; teeth bladelike, compressed, and cuspidate, well-differentiated in jaws, upper anteroposterior teeth with oblique cusps and cusplets, lowers with erect cusps and without cusplets; small medial teeth differentiated from larger anteroposterior teeth. First dorsal moderately large, base less than 2/3 length of dorsal caudal margin, its origin well behind pectoral free rear tips, midbase closer to pelvic bases than pectorals; second dorsal about as large as first; anal fin much smaller than second dorsal; ventral caudal lobe weak in young but short and strong in adults; terminal lobe of caudal fin short and 2.5 to 4 times in dorsal caudal margin.
Western South Pacific: Australia (Victoria, Tasmania, South and Western Australia).
Habitat and Biology:
A common active shark of the temperate Australian continental shelf, found at moderate depths, on or near bottom; common on rock bottom and kelp beds. Ovoviviparous, without a yolk-sac placenta; number of young 9 to 11, and possibly up to 16 per litter. Eats octopi, squid, bony fishes and lobsters.
Maximum 160 cm, adult males 109 to 135 cm, females 110 to 132 cm, size at birth about 20 cm.
Interest to Fisheries:
Regularly fished off Western Australia, using line gear and presumably gillnets, and marketed fresh for human consumption.
Holotype: Australian National Museum, Melbourne, R. 13258, 500 mm immature male. Type Locality: Mordialloc, Victoria, Australia.