Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks
Common Name– Ground Sharks
Common Name– Catsharks
Average Size and Length: They can reach up to 43 cm/1.4 feet.
Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and arched. There are short labial furrows along the jaws. The upper teeth are exposed, and they are large. The teeth are tricuspidate.
Head: The head is short and slightly rounded. The snout is short and thick. There are narrow ridges below the eyes.
Tail: The caudal fin is short and broad.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Variegated catshark is found in western Australia over the continental shelf down to 492 feet in caves and on ledges. They prefer temperate waters and are considered pelagic-oceanic.
Aesthetic Identification: The Variegated catshark is small and greyish-brown with numerous small black spots. There are darker irregular rusty-brown saddle-like blotches on the back, and bluish-grey blotches on the sides. There are small black and grey spots on the lower surfaces of the head, abdomen and the tail. The ventral side is mostly pale grey. The dorsal fins are close together with broadly rounded tips. The first dorsal fin base is close to the pelvic fin bases. The inner pelvic fin margins are fused into an apron over the claspers in adult males. The anal fin is short and angular.
Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but more than likely oviparous.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Variegated catshark is nocturnal. They rest in caves and on ledges by day, and are active at night.
Variegated Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.