This shark has only turned up at fish markets
The Painted swellshark (Cephaloscyllium pictum) is a little-known species of catshark, belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae. They are found near eastern Indonesia. All known specimens of the Painted swellshark have come from fish markets on the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok. It is dark gray with a variegated pattern of irregular darker and lighter blotches above, and lighter below with gray blotches and speckling on the snout. Like other swellsharks, it can inflate itself in an effort to ward off predators.
Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks
Common Name– Ground Sharks
Common Name– Catsharks
Status: IUCN Red List NOT EVALUATED
Average Size and Length: Their maximum known length is 72 cm/2.4 feet.
Current Rare Mythical Sightings: The Painted swellshark was initially identified with the Australian Cephaloscyllium “sp. E“, now known to consist of the Flagtail swellshark (C. signourum) and the Speckled swellshark (C. speccum), because of their similar variegated color patterns. Genetic data showed this shark to be distinct from the two Australian species, and it was described in a 2008 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) publication by Peter Last, Bernard Séret, and William White. Its specific epithet is derived from the Latin pictus, meaning “painted”.
The type specimen is a 65 cm/ 2.1 feet long adult male obtained at Lombok, Indonesia.
Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and narrow without furrows at the corners. There are 58–78 upper tooth rows and 59–77 lower tooth rows. Each tooth has 3–5 cusps, with the central cusp the longest. The teeth of adult males are longer than those of females. The upper teeth are exposed when the mouth is closed.
Head: They have a short, broad and flattened head with a blunt snout. The slit-like eyes are placed high on the head and are followed by tiny spiracles. The nostrils are preceded by a laterally enlarged flaps of skin that do not reach the mouth. The head height is between 8.7-12.1% of the total length. The prenarial length is between 3.1-4.0% of the total length. The preorbital snout length is 1.8-2.1 times the prenarial length. The snout-vent length is long, between 49.5-50.7% of the total length. The width of the nostril is between 2.5-2.9% of the total length. The eye-spiracle space is narrow, between 0.5-0.7% of the total length.
Denticles: The dermal denticles are widely spaced, highly variable in size, and have 1–3 ridges and cusps.
Tail: The caudal fin has a distinct lower lobe and a strong ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Painted swellshark can be found in eastern Indonesia. All known specimens of the Painted swellshark have come from fish markets on the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok, its exact range and habitat preferences are uncertain, but they are more than likely tropical benthopelagic.
Ram-Suction Index: More than likely they are high on the suction side of the index.
Aesthetic Identification: The Painted swellshark has a stout, thick body. It is dark gray with a variegated pattern of irregular darker and lighter blotches above, and lighter below with gray blotches and black and white speckling on the snout. There are also blackish bars below the eyes, over the gills and pelvic fins, and on the upper caudal fin lobe before the ventral notch. The demarcation between the dorsal and ventral coloration is irregular but abrupt. The fourth and fifth pairs of gill slits lie over the pectoral fin bases and are shorter than the first three. The pectoral fins are small with narrowly rounded tips and nearly straight trailing margins. Its height is between 11.8-13.2% of the total length.The first dorsal fin has a narrowed rounded apex and originates over the middle of the pelvic fin bases. The almost triangular second dorsal fin is much smaller and lower than both the first dorsal and the anal fins, originating behind the anal fin origin. The pelvic fins are small, with short and elongated claspers in males. Its trunk width is between 12.8-16.8% of the total length. It is between 3.1-3.5 in prepectoral length, and between 6.5-7.1 in prepelvic length. The posterior margin is between 9.8-12.1% of the total length. The anal fin is tall, between 3.5-4.7% of the total length. The anal-caudal space is between 5.5-6.6% of the total length. The precaudal length is between 77-78% of the total length. The interdorsal space is between 8.3-8.9% of the total length. The adult male clasper is long, the outer length is between 7-8% of the total length.
Biology and Reproduction: More than likely they are oviparous. It is though males reach sexual maturity under a length of 58 cm/1.9 feet. The vertebral centra count is between 110-117.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Like other members of its genus, the Painted swellshark can inflate its body with water (or air on land) in an effort to ward off predators.
Speed: More than likely they are sluggish and slow.
Painted Swellshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.