INDONESIAN WOBBEGONG

A wobbegong found in Indonesia more recently

The Indonesian wobbegong (Orectolobus leptolineatus) is a species of shark belonging to the family Orectolobidae. They can be found in the western Pacific Ocean in Indonesia. This is a more recently described species. Research suggests that the Indonesian wobbegong is similar to its other family members.

 

Family: Orectolobidae – Wobbegongs

Genus: Orectolobus 

Species: leptolineatus

Taxonomy:

Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles

OrderOrectolobiformes

Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Orectolobidae

Common NameWobbegongs

GenusOrectolobus

Speciesleptolineatus

Status: IUCN Red List DATA DEFICIENT

Average Size and Length:  Males have been recorded at 3.7 feet and females at 3.9 feet. More than likely males mature by 3 feet. The smallest mature female was recorded at 3.1 feet. There were apparently 2 pregnant females recorded at 3.4 and 3.5 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: There are 23 tooth rows in the upper jaw and rudimentary row of teeth at the symphysis of the upper jaw are usually present. Like all wobbegongs, it has a short mouth and broad pharynx, which allow it to suck up prey more easily.

Head: The nasal barbels have a branch. The preorbital dermal lobes are complex, with 2-3 simple lobes in the PO1 group and 3-4 simple to terminally branched lobes in the PO2 group. There are simple postspiracular dermal lobes that are well- developed, thallate, with a distance across the preorbital group that is between 1.3-1.6 times the interspace between the preorbital group and postspiracular lobe (PO/PO-PS1), which is 6.5-8.0 times the base length of the anterior postspiracular lobe (PO/PS1). The base of the anterior postspiracular lobe is 4.3-5.3 in its distance from the postorbital group (PO-PS1/PS1). It is 2.5-2.9 in its distance from the posterior postspiracular lobe (PS1-PS2/PS1).

Denticles: There are no enlarged supraocular knob or warty tubercles on the back.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Indonesian wobbegong can be found in the western Pacific Ocean in Indonesia. There have also been unconfirmed reports off of Sarawak Malaysian (Borneo), from Taiwan (Penghu Islands), and the Philippines (Visayas and Cebu City), Ryukyu Islands. They are considered tropical benthopelagic at a depth range of 66 feet to an unknown depth. It probably prefers deeper colder water with a single shallow water observation from the east coast of Bali where cold-water upwelling is common.

Ram-Suction Index: They are high on the RSI, sucking in and impaling prey on their large teeth.

Aesthetic Identification: The Indonesian wobbegong has a coloration that is complex and variable. They are strongly vermiculate over the dorsal and lateral surfaces with alternating dark brownish bars and saddles. The dorsal and upper surface of the paired fins has prominent vermicular patterns. The ventral surface of the trunk is mainly uniformly pale. The dorsal fins are tall and upright. The first dorsal fin origin is near the insertion of the pelvic fin. The tip of the pelvic fin is below the insertion of the first dorsal fin. The interdorsal space is 0.5-0.8 times the anal fin base length. The anal fin inner margin is 0.7-0.8 of the anal fin posterior margin.

Biology and Reproduction: The monospondylous centra is between 44-51. The total vertebral centra is about 148-163. They are thought to be ovoviviparous. A pregnant female of 3.4 feet contained 4 mid-term embryos between 5.1 and 5.5 inches.  

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: They are more than likely nocturnal. They are sluggish and inactive by day, spending the day in caves, under overhangs and in channels. They can be found singularly or in aggregations.

Speed: More than likely slow like its family members. They probably use their large pectoral and pelvic fins to crawl across the bottom.

Indonesian Wobbegong Future and Conservation: More than likely the sharks observed at fish markets were presumably caught by longline fishers operating in deeper parts of the continental shelf.

Indonesian 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., J.J. Pogonoski and W.T. White, 2010.