A shark that looks like it has a hood over its head

The Hooded carpetshark, (Hemiscyllium strahani), is a shark belonging to the family Hemiscylliidae found around Papua New Guinea. Like its name, it appears to have a hood over its head. It has a beautiful spotted pattern. It is nocturnal, but not much is known about this shark.


Family: Hemiscylliidae – Longtail Carpetsharks

Genus: Hemiscyllium

Species: strahani


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Hemiscylliidae

Common NameLongtail Carpetsharks or Bamboo Sharks




Average Size and Length: The length of hatchlings is unknown. Males mature before 59 cm/ 1.9 feet. Females have been measured at 73 cm/ 2.4 feet. The maximum recorded length has been 80 cm/ 2.6 feet.

Head: It appears to have a hood on. There is a black mask on the snout and head of adults. There are black spots and bands beneath the head, but not on the snout.

Tail: The tail is thick and long. The caudal fin has a pronounced subterminal notch but without a ventral lobe.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Hooded carpetshark can be found in eastern Papua New Guinea (5°S – 10°S, 144°E – 153°E). They can be found inshore on coral reef faces and flats mainly between 9-43 feet. They prefer tropical waters.

Aesthetic Identification: The Hooded carpetshark has dorsal and anal fins that are set far back on an extremely thick and long tail. There is a black epaulette spot that is partially merged with the shoulder saddle, but not completely surrounded by a white ring. There are dark saddles and blotches on the body. There are many white spots on the body and fins. There is no reticular pattern. The margins of the paired fins are white-spotted on black. There are dark rings around the tail.

Biology and Reproduction: Not much is known about their biology or reproduction but they are oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They are nocturnal. They hide in crevices and under table corals during the day.

Hooded Carpetshark Future and Conservation: They are vulnerable. Their range is small and fragmented which may be heavily fished and polluted.

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