DWARF SPOTTED WOBBEGONG
Recently described wobbegong smaller than the rest
The Dwarf Spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus parvimaculatus) is a shark belonging to the family Orectolobidae, described in 2008 by Last and Chidlow. It is found at depths of 30 to 443 feet off south-western Australia.Like its name, it is a smaller wobbegong in comparison to other wobbegongs. Its maximum length is still questionable.
Family: Orectolobidae – Wobbegongs
Common Name– Carpet Sharks
Common Name– Wobbegongs
Status: IUCN Red List LEAST CONCERN
Average Size and Length: Males have been measured at 88.5 cm/ 2.9 feet and females at 94.3 cm/ 3.1 feet.
Teeth and Jaw: There are 21-22 teeth in the upper jaw, medial row symphysis of the upper jaw is absent. Like all wobbegongs, it has a short mouth and broad pharynx, which allow it to suck up prey more easily. The teeth are long and fang-like.
Head: The nasal barbel is bilobed. The postspiracular lobes are well-developed and thallate. The distance across the preorbital group is 1.8-2.5 times the interspace between the preorbital group and postspiracular lobe (PO/PO-PS1), 5.6-8.7 times the base length of the anterior postspiracular lobe (PO/PS1). The base of the anterior postspiracular lobe is 2.6-4.5 in its distance from the postorbital group (PO-PS1/PS1), 1.4-2.6 in its distance from the posterior postspiracular lobe (PS1-PS2/PS1). Behind and above the eyes do not have warty tubercles. There are small eyes with larger spiracles behind them.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Dwarf Spotted wobbegong can be found in the eastern Indian Ocean off of southwestern Australia. It is found at depths of 30 to 443 feet. They are subtropical demersal.
Ram-Suction Index: They are high on the RSI, sucking in and impaling prey on their large teeth.
Aesthetic Identification: The Dwarf Spotted wobbegong has a variable, rich, brownish, greyish and/or yellowish dorsal color with a pattern overlain of dense coverage of pale irregular streaks and large, ring-like ocelli. The dorsal fins have alternating dark and light marginal blotches suffused with pale reticulations. There are dark saddles found on the tail converging strongly toward the ventral surface. The ventral surface of the trunk is mainly uniformly pale. The dorsal fins are tall and upright in adult males. The first dorsal-fin origin is over the mid pelvic-fin base. The tip of the pelvic fin is below or slightly forward of the insertion of the first dorsal fin. The interdorsal space is 0.6-0.8 times the anal-fin base length. The anal-fin inner margin is 0.5-0.7 of the anal-fin posterior margin.
Biology and Reproduction: Not much is known about the biology and reproduction of the Dwarf Spotted wobbegong. There are 46-49 monospondylous centra. There are 142-149 total vertebral centra. More than likely they are ovoviviparous.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Their behavior is mostly unknown, but more than likely the Dwarf Spotted wobbegong is nocturnal like its family members. Which would mean they could be inactive by day, and highly skilled and disguised ambush predators by night.
Speed: More than likely slow like its family members. They probably use their large pectoral and pelvic fins to crawl across the bottom.
Dwarf Spotted Wobbegong Future and Conservation: They are currently of least concern.
Dwarf Spotted Wobbegong Recorded Attacks on Humans: They could be potentially dangerous due to their powerful bite if they are provoked. Their bite force is extremely strong, and they tend to latch on and not let go. They are typically docile towards humans, but again if they are provoked, they will defend themselves.
Last, P.R. and J.A. Chidlow, 2008. Two new wobbegong sharks, Orectolobus floridus sp. nov. and O. parvimaculatus sp. nov. (Orectolobiformes: Orectolobidae), from southwestern Australia. Zootaxa 1673:49-67.