The small catshark of Bali

The Bali catshark (Atelomycterus baliensis) is a species of catshark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae, found only off the Indonesian island of Bali. It can grow up to 1.6 feet.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Atelomycterus

Species: baliensis


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: They have been recorded at 47.4 cm/1.6 feet.

Head: They have a relatively short preoral length of between 4.0-4.6% of the total length.

Denticles: The prebranchial dermal denticles strongly tricuspid with narrow, elongate medial cusps.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Bali catshark is only found off the Indonesian island of Bali. They are considered tropical demersal. Not much is known, but they are presumably reef-dwelling.

Diet: They more than likely eat an abundance of invertebrates.

Aesthetic Identification: The dorsal surface of the Bali catshark has well-defined dark saddles consisting mainly of four, partly coalesced, diffuse-edged, dark brown blotches. There are white partly coalesced, diffuse-edged, dark brown blotches. The white spots are absent from the body and rarely on the fins. The inner margin of the pale tips of the dorsal fins are orientated almost vertically. The upper pectoral fin is lacking a broad, sharply defined whitish margin. They have a short interdorsal space of between 11.6-12.9% of the total length. They have a high pectoral-pelvic to pelvic-anal ratio of between 1.28-1.48. The dorsal fins are weakly falcate, with posterior margins vertical or sloping anteroventrally from fin apices.

Reproductive System: The claspers of adult males are short, not stubby, not tapering sharply distally, and the outer length is between 8.3-9% of the total length. The base width is between 5.4-6.3% of outer length. The clasper glans is covering more than half of the clasper. The cover of the rhipidion is relatively narrow. The rhipidion is large, relatively low, and only partly concealed by the cover of the rhipidion and exorhipidion. The exorhipidion is small with the proximal end well behind distal end of the cover of the rhipidion.

Biology and Reproduction: The total vertebral centra count is between 154-163. The precaudal centra count is between 101-106. They are possibly oviparous, but this is still unknown.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown, but they possibly inhabit holes and crevices on reefs like several of its family members.

Bali Catshark Future and Conservation: They are currently vulnerable. They are caught irregularly by fisheries operating over coral reefs. It is sometimes utilized for its meat, but there isn’t much value associated.

Bali Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.