Beautiful camouflaged nocturnal shark

The Necklace Carpetshark (Parascyllium variolatum), also known as the Varied carpetshark, is a Collared carpetshark belonging to the family Parascylliidae. They are endemic to the waters off Australia’s southern coast between latitudes 37°S and 41°S. It has a wide range of habitats. The Necklace carpetshark can be found near the ocean floor over sand, rock, coral reefs, and kelp and seagrass beds. It has a beautiful pattern. It is almost exclusively seen at night and spends the day hidden in caves or camouflaged on the ocean floor.


Family: Parascylliidae – Collared Carpetsharks

Genus: Parascyllium 

Species: variolatum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles

Order–   Orectolobiformes

Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Parascylliidae

Common NameCollared Carpetsharks




Average Size and Length: The maximum recorded length is 90 cm/ 3 feet.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: Holotype: Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MNHN 1004, 380 mm female. Type Locality: Tasmania, Australia.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth are orthodont with a central pulp cavity and lacking osteodentine. The teeth are not strongly differentiated in the upper and lower jaws. The symphysial teeth are not enlarged or fang-like. Each jaw possesses a tooth row count of 37-54/33-49 in adult specimens. The teeth have a strong medial cusp, a pair of short lateral cusplets, and strong labial root lobes.

Head: The head is narrow and the snout is short and rounded. It has small oval eyes and spiracles and nostrils with short barbels. The barbels are absent on the throat.

Tail: The tail is long, but difficult to tell apart from the rest of the shark. It is asymmetrical. The caudal fin is horizontally elongated and weakly heterocercal with its upper lobe barely elevated above the body axis. It has a strong terminal lobe and subterminal notch, as well as an undeveloped ventral lobe.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Necklace carpetshark can be found in southern Australia (37°S and 41°S) and considered endemic. Research suggests that the eastern and the western forms are different species. Their habitats range greatly. They are found on the continental shelf to about 591 feet. They can be found over sand, rocky reefs, seagrass beds and kelp.

Diet: Research suggests more than likely they feed on shellfish and invertebrates.

Aesthetic Identification: The Necklace Carpetshark is small, long, elongated and slender. It is greyish to chocolate-brown.  It has a variable pattern. It has a broad, dark, white-spotted collar over the gills. There are obvious black spots on all of the fins. There are dark blotches and dense white spots on the body. There may be another close related species that looks similar within its range. There are two spineless dorsal fins that are similar in size. The origin of the first dorsal fin is located behind the free rear ends of the pelvic fins. The origin of the anal fin is ahead of the origin of the second dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are thick rounded, and muscular. The dorsal caudal-fin margin is less than one fourth the length of the entire shark.

Biology and Reproduction: The biology and reproduction of the Necklace carpetshark is mostly unknown. They are presumably oviparous. Research suggests that the egg cases are bulbous with two elongated horns or tendrils; a third rudimentary horn may also be present. They may deposit 2 eggs at a time and rates are suggested between 12-39 days, but this is still unconfirmed.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Necklace carpetshark is nocturnal. Juvenile sharks hide under rocks and bottom debris in shallow water.

Necklace Carpetshark Future and Conservation: They are of least concern. They are not of interest or targeted by commercial fisheries. They are rarely caught as bycatch. They have high survival rates as well.

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