One small, rare shark that has a pattern like no other

The Papuan Epaulette carpetshark, (Hemiscyllium hallstromi), is a shark belonging to the family Hemiscylliidae found around southern Papua New Guinea, between latitudes 7° S and 10° S, and longitude 144° E and 146° E. Its length is up to 2.5 feet long. It is commonly mistaken for another species that looks very similar in its range.


Family: Hemiscylliidae – Longtail Carpetsharks

Genus: Hemiscyllium 

Species: hallstromi


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Hemiscylliidae

Common NameLongtail Carpetsharks or Bamboo Sharks




Average Size and Length: Hatchlings are less than 19 cm. Mature males have been measured between 47-64 cm/1.5-2.1 feet. The maximum recorded has been 77 cm/2.5 feet.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Papuan Epaulette carpetshark can be found in Papuan New Guinea between latitudes 7° S and 10° S, and longitude 144° E and 146° E. They can be found inshore on the seabed and possibly coral reefs.

Aesthetic Identification: The Papuan Epaulette carpetshark has dorsal fins and an anal fin that are set far back on an extremely long and thick tail. There are no dark spots on the snout. There are dark, wide-spaced spots on the body. Some are almost as large as or larger than the conspicuous white-ringed black epaulette spot above the pectoral fins. The epaulette spot is partly ringed, above and behind, by smaller black spots. There are no white spots or a reticular pattern. The paired fins are unspotted. The black webs and light edges in the young are lost from the uniformly pale ventral side in the adults.

Biology and Reproduction: More than likely the Papuan Epaulette carpetshark is oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Their behavior is unknown but possibly they behave similar to other sharks within its family.

Papuan Epaulette Carpetshark Future and Conservation: They have a very limited range that is affected by pollution and fisheries, so therefore they are vulnerable.

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