PORT PHILLIP BAY


Varied Carpetshark 

Parascyllium variolatum (Duméril, 1853)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Jaw teeth (upper): 28
Jaw teeth (lower): 32

Additional information in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A diverse group of 7 families that includes carpet sharks, wobbegongs and the giant Whale Shark. All have a small sub-terminal mouth positioned well before the eyes, nasal barbels, a prominent groove connecting the nostrils to the mouth, and spiracles. Carpet Sharks and their relatives are found it the Indo-Pacific oceans and their greatest diversity is around Australia. Except for the Whale Shark, most live on or near the bottom in shallow coastal waters and feed at night on invertebrates and fishes.

Family level detail.
A small family of nocturnal bottom-dwelling sharks with very long, slender eel-like bodies, two dorsal fins without fin-spines, the first positioned between the pelvic and anal fins; mouth well-before the eyes, distinct nasal barbels near the corners of the mouth, and a groove joining the nostrils to the mouth.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Order:
Orectolobiformes
Family:
Parascylliidae
Genus:
Parascyllium
Species:
variolatum

General Description

Body almost eel-like, with a rounded head, a small underslung mouth and short fleshy nasal barbels; two dorsal fins of similar size, well back on the body, the first arising between the pelvic and anal fins. Greyish to brownish with indistinct dark saddles and pale spots on body; a distinctive broad black collar speckled with small white spots behind head. To 92 cm.

Biology

Although relatively common, this nocturnal species hides in caves, crevices, under ledges and amongst kelp beds during the day, and is rarely seen. It feeds mostly on shellfish.

Habitat

Rocky reefs bays, estuaries and coastal waters, in depths of 3-180 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Sharks

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

92 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Although considered harmless to humans, has the potential to bite.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Varied Carpetshark, Parascyllium variolatum, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6577

Text: creative commons cc by licence