Rusty carpetshark

A long nocturnal shark with a rust color and dark spots all over

The Rusty carpetshark (Parascyllium ferrugineum) is a Carpet shark belonging to the family Parascylliidae found off southern Australia between latitudes 31°S and 41°S near the ocean floor on the continental shelf. They have a wide range of environments from seagrass to rocky caves and cliffs They are nocturnal.


Family: Parascylliidae – Collared Carpetsharks

Genus: Parascyllium 

Species: ferrugineum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles

Order–   Orectolobiformes

Common NameCarpet Sharks

Family– Parascylliidae

Common NameCollared Carpetsharks




Average Size and Length: They are born around 17 cm/ 6.7 inches. Mature males have been measured around 60 cm/ 2 feet. Mature females have been measured around 75 cm/ 2.5 feet. The longest recorded has been 80 cm/ 2.6 feet.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: They were described by McCulloch in 1911. Holotype: Australian Museum, Sydney. Type Locality: Off Port Phillip Heads, Victoria, Australia.

Head:  The snout is short, thick and broadly rounded. The head is narrow. The mouth is in front of the eyes. The eyes are slit-like. There are small spiracles. There are nasal barbels and nasoral and circumnarial grooves.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Rusty carpetshark can be found in southern Australia (31°S and 45°S, 117°E – 149°E: Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania). They have a wide range of habitats. They can be found on or near the bottom near rocks, river mouths, in algae on reefs or in seagrass. They are considered demersal typically found between 16-492 feet. They prefer temperate waters.

Diet: They feed on bottom dwelling crustaceans and mollusks.

Aesthetic Identification: The Rusty carpetshark is grey-brown with an indistinct dark collar around the gills. There are 6 or 7 dark saddles and dark spots all over the body, the tail and the fins. There are more than 6 on the sides of the tail between the dorsal fins. There are no more than 3 or 4 irregular rows of spots on the sides. The Tasmanian specimens are much more heavily spotted. The bondy is slender and elongated. Both dorsal fins are about equal in size. The origin of the first dorsal fin is behind the pelvic fin bases. The origin of the anal fin is in front of the origin of the second dorsal fin.

Biology and Reproduction: The reproduction is oviparous. Their egg cases are yellow with long tendrils. The eggs are laid during the summer.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Rusty carpetshark is nocturnal. They hide in rocky caves and ledges by day and are active by night.

Rusty Carpetshark Future and Conservation: They are of least concern They are not target by commercial fisheries. They are rarely caught as bycatch.

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