CENDERAWASIH EPAULETTE SHARK

Recently described spotted shark

The Cenderawasih Epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium galei), is a species of shark belonging to the family Hemiscylliidae. Together with H. henryi, it was only scientifically described in 2008 by Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann. Currently, it is only known from depths of 6-13 feet at reefs in Cenderawasih Bay, in west Papua, Indonesia. It can be separated from its other family members by the combination of seven large dark spots along the side of the body between the abdomen and tail-base, white markings on the edge of its dark dorsal saddles and other scattered white spots on the upper side.

 

Family: Hemiscylliidae – Longtail Carpetsharks

Genus: Hemiscyllium 

Species: galei

Taxonomy:

Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles

OrderOrectolobiformes

Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Hemiscylliidae

Common NameLongtail Carpetsharks or Bamboo Sharks

GenusHemiscyllium

Speciesgalei

Status: IUCN Red List DATA DEFICIENT  

Average Size and Length: The largest known specimen was 56.8 cm/1.9 feet.  

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Cenderawasih Epaulette shark is currently only known from depths of 6-13 feet at reefs in the Cenderawasih Bay in west Papua Barat Province, Indonesia. They are tropical.

Aesthetic Identification: The Cenderawasih Epaulette shark can be separated from its other family members by the combination of 7-8 well-defined, horizontally-ovate, large dark spots along the side of the body between the abdomen and tail-base, white markings on the edge of its dark dorsal saddles and other scattered white spots on the upper side of the body.

Biology and Reproduction: Not much is known, but they are more than likely oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Not much is known, but it has been observed at night between 6-13 feet resting on the bottom, occasionally observed while slowly swimming or crawling over the bottom with the pectoral and pelvic fins. More than likely, it is inactive during daylight hours, sheltering under rocky ridges or tabular corals, like its family members.  

Speed: More than likely slow, it has been seen crawling with its pelvic and pectoral fins.

Cenderawasih Epaulette Shark Future and Conservation: Not enough data to evaluate.

Cenderawasih Epaulette Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.