Beautiful shark with wide brown bands of color

The Brownbanded bambooshark (Chiloscyllium punctatum), is a shark belonging to the family Hemiscylliidae found in the Indo-West Pacific from Japan to northern Australia to depths greater than 279 feet. They can survive out of water for up to half a day. They are more than likely nocturnal.


Family: Hemiscylliidae – Longtail Carpetsharks

Genus: Chiloscyllium 

Species: punctatum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Hemiscylliidae

Common NameLongtail Carpetsharks or Bamboo Sharks




Average Size and Length: The eggcases measure 11×15 cm. Hatchlings are between 13-17 cm/5.1-6.7 inches. Mature sharks are around 60 cm/2 feet, and the maximum recorded has been 105 cm/3.4 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth of Longtail Carpetsharks or Bamboo sharks are not strongly differentiated in the upper and lower jaws. Each tooth has a medial cusp and weak labial root lobes. The number of tooth rows is 26-35/21-32.

Head: The mouth is located closer to the eyes than to the rounded tip of the snout. The spiracles are located below and behind the moderately large eyes.

Tail: The tail is thick and long. The caudal fin has a distinct subterminal notch, the ventral lobe is absent.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Brownbanded bambooshark can be found in the Indo-west Pacific in east India to north Australia and Japan between latitudes 34° N and 26° S. They can be found over coral reefs in intertidal pools and tidal flats and reef faces. They may also be found on soft bottoms offshore to depths greater than 279 feet.

Diet: They feed on bottom invertebrates and possibly fish as well.

Potential predators of the Brownbanded bamboo shark include larger fish such as sharks as well as marine mammals.

Aesthetic Identification: Brownbanded bamboosharks have a slender, elongated body. Young Brownbanded bamboosharks have obvious dark bands that are not edged in black and have scattered small dark spots which fade to light brown as the become adults. The gill slit margins are very light. Both dorsal fins are about equal in size. The dorsal fins have distinctly concave rear margins with elongated free rear tips. The dorsal fins and anal fin are set far back on a long and thick tail. The first dorsal fin origin is over the front half of the pelvic fin bases. The pectoral fins are straight with very broad tips.

Biology and Reproduction: They are oviparous. They lay rounded eggcases. In captivity, it can take up to four months after being released from the female for hatching to occur.

It is thought that adult males reach sexual maturity at around 68-76 cm/2.2-2.5 feet in length, while females mature at around 63 cm/2.1 feet in length.

The life expectancy of the Brownbanded bamboo shark is approximately 25 years.

Parasites have been documented from the gills of the Brownbanded bambooshark including the larvae of an isopod and a copepod Eudactylina aspera. In recent research, two new species of tapeworms, Yorkeria hilli and Yorkeria kelleyae, have been described from the spiral intestine of a Brownbanded bambooshark collected at a fish market in Thailand.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They hide in crevices and under coral. They can survive out of water for up to half a day. They are more than likely nocturnal.

Brownbanded Bambooshark Future and Conservation: They are near threatened. They are common among their range and are regularly taken in inshore food fisheries. They are displayed and bred in aquaria.

Brownbanded Bambooshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans. They may nip if provoked.