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 Epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum)

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Epaulette shark
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Carpetsharks (Orectolobiformes)
    Family: Bamboosharks (Hemiscyllidae)
      Genus: Hemiscyllium (Hemiscyllium)


Scientific: Hemiscyllium ocellatum
German: Epaulettenhai
English: Epaulette shark
French: Requin-chabot ocelle
Spanish: Bamboa ocelada


Long, slender body with an elongated, thick peduncle. Mouth well in front of eyes, spiracles below and behind eyes. Snout slightly "swollen" and elongated. Both dorsal fins of nearly equal size. Origin of first dorsal fin behind insertion of pelvic fin. Anal fin ends right at caudal fin.


Scattered large dark spots, not close together and not forming a light reticular pattern with the background. Above the pectoral fins there is a very large black spot that is surrounded by a white ocellus but no surrounding black dots. No dark "hood" at the head, no dark crossbands on ventral surface of tail.


Western South Pacific: New Guinea, Australia.


Abundant, lives close to coral reefs in shallow waters, often seen in tidepools. This species is able to "crawl" and "climb" on the bottom.


Probably invertebrates.


Maximum size about 105 cm, average size between 70 and 90 cm.


Egg laying (oviparous).

 Similar Species

Other "epaulette sharks" have a similar appearance but the color pattern of the described species is distinctive.


Status in the IUCN Red List:

No Entry found in Red List.

 Danger to Humans


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