Western Spotted Catshark

Yellow-green shark with spots

The Western Spotted catshark (Asymbolus occiduus) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae found only around south and western Australia, at depths between 322-820 feet. Its length is up to 60 cm/2 feet. The reproduction of the western spotted catshark is possibly oviparous. They have beautiful spots covering a bright yellowish-green body.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Asymbolus 

Species: occiduus


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: Mature males have been measured at 58 cm/1.9 feet. The maximum is at least 60 cm/2 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: There are short labial furrows along the jaws and the upper teeth are exposed. The teeth are ridged with 5 main cusps.

Head: The head is short and slightly flattened. The snout is short and thick. There are narrow ridges below the eyes and there is often a dark spot below the eyes.

Tail: The caudal fin is short and broad.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The western Spotted catshark can be found in western and south Australia on the bottom or outer continental shelf between 322-820 feet. The are considered pelagic-oceanic, preferring temperate waters.

Aesthetic Identification: The Western Spotted catshark is bright yellowish-green with similar sized brownish-black spots and 8-9 distinct saddles. These marks are more obvious in juveniles, and they have fewer spots. There is one dark spot in front of each dorsal fin. The trunk is narrow. The posterior margin of the first dorsal fin is between 0.61-0.77 times its base. The dorsal fins are behind 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. There are no spots of any color, including white, on the ventral side.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but possibly oviparous. The monospondylous centra count is 37-41.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Western Spotted Catshark Future and Conservation: They are of least concern. Most of their range is unfished.

Western Spotted Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.