Rare shark with cartilage-cored barbels on the throat

The Barbelthroat carpetshark (Cirrhoscyllium expolitum) is a Collared carpetshark belonging to the family Parascylliidae found in the South China Sea. They have distinguished saddle marks and are known from 2 female species.


Family: Parascylliidae – Collared Carpetsharks

Genus: Cirrhoscyllium 

Species: expolitum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles

Order–   Orectolobiformes

Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Parascylliidae

Common NameCollared Carpetsharks




Average Size and Length: The two females recorded were 30.6 cm/ 1 foot and 33.5 cm/ 1.1 foot. These were adults.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: They are known from two females. Described by Smith & Radcliffe, 1913.

Head: The head length is three times the first dorsal fin base. There are nasoral grooves. The mouth is in front of the eyes and the eyes have tiny spiracles.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Barbelthroat carpetshark can be found in the south China Sea in the northwest Pacific. They can be found from China to Luzon, the Philippines and Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin (23°N – 10°N, 105°E – 125°E). They can be found on the bottom on the outer continental shelf between 600-623 feet. They are considered demersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Barbelthroat carpetshark has 6-10 diffuse saddle marks on the back. They are not C-shaped. There is an elongated rounded saddle on each side of the back and tail between the pectoral and pelvic fin bases that extends over the pelvic fin bases. There are cartilage-cored paired barbels on the throat.

Biology and Reproduction: They are presumably oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Their behavior is unknown.

Barbelthroat Carpetshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated and are presumably rare and uncommon and thought to be taken as bycatch.

Barbelthroat Carpetshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.