Little known shark with a beautiful pattern

The Indonesian Speckled carpetshark, (Hemiscyllium freycineti), is a species of shark belonging to the family Hemiscylliidae. It is found in the shallow ocean in the western Pacific Ocean in Papua New Guinea and possibly some other localized locations. The spots on this shark are smaller, more rounded or slightly elongated in shape (versus relatively large, edged and more leopard-like in the Milne Bay Epaulette shark or also known as the Leopard Epaulette shark) and tend to darken at regular intervals forming 8-9 vertical bars on the body and tail.


Family: Hemiscylliidae – Longtail Carpetsharks

Genus: Hemiscyllium 

Species: freycineti


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Hemiscylliidae

Common NameLongtail Carpetsharks or Bamboo Sharks




Average Size and Length: They are born less than 19 cm long. Mature males have been measured between 37-62 cm/1.2-2 feet. The maximum recorded was a female at 72 cm/2.4 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: They have teeth wide at the base that come to a sharp point.

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

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Indonesian Speckled carpetshark can be found in the western Pacific in places such as Waigeo, Irian Jaya, and Papua New Guinea (0°S – 10°S, 128°E – 153°E) on coral reefs, on sand, and in seagrass in shallow water, typically 0-39 feet. They can be found in tropical water.

Aesthetic Identification: Their bodies are long and cylindrical. The Indonesian Speckled carpetshark has small dark spots on the snout. There are large, sparse dark spots on the body, none are white. There is no reticulate pattern. There is a moderately large epaulette spot above the pectorals without a white ring or curved black marks around the rear half. There are dark paired fins with light edges on young sharks, which change to scattered small and large dark spots in adults. There are broad, dark bands under the head and completely encircling the tail in young sharks that get lost in the light ventral side of adults. There are dark blotches on the anterior edges of the dorsal fins. The dorsal and anal fins are set very far back on an extremely long and thick tail.

Biology and Reproduction: There biology is almost unknown. They are oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They hide in reef crevices by day and actively feed at night. More than likely they can remain without oxygen for longer periods of time.

Indonesian Speckled Carpetshark Future and Conservation: They are near threatened. Their habitat is limited and restricted and it is affected by pollution and expanding fisheries.

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