FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
FAO of the UN
Chiloscyllium plagiosum:   (click for more)

See tree map  display tree map
  • Scyllium ornatum  Gray, 1830, pl. 98, fig. 2. Name and illustration only. Holotype: British Museum (Natural History), BMNH-1982.2.26.1, 653 mm TL skin, China Seas. Status of holotype confirmed by Dingerkus and DeFino (1983: 24).
  • ?Scyllium plagiosum var. interruptum  Bleeker, 1852: 18. Types: None known according to Eschmeyer (1998: CD-ROM), type locality Batavia (Jakarta) and Semarang (Samarang), Java, Indonesia.
  • Chiloscyllium margaritiferum  Bleeker, 1863: 243.
  • Chiloscyllium indicum var. margaritifera  Günther, 1870: 412. Holotype (both species): Rikjsmuseum van Natuurlijke Histoire, Leiden, RMNH-7404, 250 mm immature male, Obi Island, Moluccas, Indonesia. Status of holotype confirmed by Dingerkus and DeFino (1983: 24).
  • ?Chiloscyllium caerulopunctatum  Pellegrin, 1914: 230. Holotype: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MNHN-14-9, 670 mm TL female, Fort Dauphin [Taolanaro], Madagascar. Status of holotype confirmed by Bass, D'Aubrey and Kistnasamy (1975c: 49, fig. 23); and Dingerkus and DeFino (1983: 24).
    Other Combinations:  Hemiscyllium plagiosum (Bennett, 1830).
    FAO Names
    En - Whitespotted bambooshark, Fr - Requin-chabot taches blanches, Sp - Bamboa punteada.
    3Alpha Code: ORH     Taxonomic Code: 1070401505
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Scyllium plagiosum  Bennett, 1830, Fishes, in S. Raffles, 1830, Mem. Life Pub. Serv. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, London: 694. Holotype: British Museum (Natural History), probably lost, Sumatra. Neotype: California Academy of Sciences, CAS-36046, 503 mm TL adult male, 5° 58' S, 106° 48' E, Java Sea, Indonesia, designated by Dingerkus and DeFino, 1983, Bull. American Mus. Nat. Hist., 176(1): 24. Also Chiloscyllium indicum var. plagiosa Günther, 1870, Cat. Fish. British Mus., 8: 412; and Chiloscyllium indicum var. plagiosum Ogilb
    Diagnostic Features
    fieldmarks: Mouth well in front of eyes; spineless dorsal fins far posterior on tail, greatly elongated thick precaudal tail, long and low anal fin just anterior to caudal fin, lateral ridges on trunk, dorsal fins with straight or convex posterior margins, first dorsal-fin origin opposite or just behind pelvic-fin insertions; colour pattern of numerous white or bluish spots and dark spots, dark bands and saddles on a light background.

    Prepectoral length 15.0 to 19.4% of total length. Snout rounded or truncated anteriorly. Eyes moderately large, lengths 1.4 to 2.2% of total length. Body and tail fairly stout. A lateral ridge present on each side of trunk, and strong predorsal and interdorsal ridges present on midline of back. Interdorsal space short, slightly greater or less than first dorsal-fin base and 9.3 to 11.6% of total length. Snout to vent length 31.1 to 35.1% of total length; distance from vent to tail tip 61.8 to 67.1% of total length.  Dorsal fins moderately large and rounded or angular, subequal to or larger than pelvic fins, and without concave posterior margins and projecting free rear tips. First dorsal-fin origin varying from slightly anterior to slightly behind pelvic-fin insertions, first dorsal-fin base slightly longer than second dorsal-fin base, first dorsal-fin height 5.4 to 7.3% of total length. Second dorsal-fin height 4.7 to 6.8% of total length. Origin of anal fin somewhat behind free rear tip of second dorsal fin, anal-fin length from origin to free rear tip somewhat less than hypural caudal lobe from lower caudal-fin origin to subterminal notch, anal-fin base less than six times anal-fin height.  Total vertebral count between 161 and 185 (mean = 173.9, n = 8).  Intestinal valve count 16 to 17 (n = 2).  a prominent pattern of numerous white spots on a dark brown background in juveniles and adults, with small dark spots and darker brown or blackish transverse bands or saddles that are not conspicuously edged with black. 
    Geographical Distribution

    Launch the Aquatic Species Distribution map viewer

    Indo-West Pacific: Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia (Sandakan, Sarawak, Borneo), Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia (Obi Island, Moluccas; Manado, Celebes; Sumatra), Viet Nam, China, including Taiwan Island (Province of China), Japan, and Philippines.
    Habitat and Biology
    A little-known inshore bottom shark. Occurs on reefs in the tropics.

    Common but biology poorly known. Nocturnal, rests in reef crevices during the day, but feeds at night.
    Oviparous.  Eats bony fishes and crustaceans.
    Maximum total length 95 cm; possible hatchlings or free-living specimens 9.8 to 12.5 cm; adolescent males up to 64 cm, adult males 50 to 83 cm; an adult female 95 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Interest to fisheries considerable. Regularly taken in inshore fisheries in India, Thailand, China, and utilized for human consumption.

    Conservation Status : Conservation status uncertain.Marketed in Madagascar, for human consumption.
    Local Names
    Widespread : Whitespotted bamboo shark ,  Bluespotted bamboo shark ,  Requin-chabot à taches bleues ,  Bamboa estrellada .
    Malaysia : Ikan tjutjot matjan .
    Indonesia : Ikan tjutjot matjan .
    Thailand : Chalarm seour ,  Tiger shark ,  Chalarm lye ,  Striped shark .
    China : Pan chu sha ,  Striped bamboo shark ,  Ta sha .
    Japan : Whitespotted cat shark ,  Shiroboshi-tenjiku .
    There is a question as to whether Chiloscyllium caerulopunctatum Pellegrin, 1914, known from a single specimen from Madagascar, is a valid species or a synonym of the wide-ranging but disjunct C. plagiosum from the northern Indian Ocean east to Japan and Philippines. Fowler (1941) synonymized C. caerulopunctatum with C. plagiosum, but Bass, D'Aubrey and Kistnasamy (1975c) retained it as a valid species without comparing it with C. plagiosum or other Chiloscyllium species. After comparing the redescription of the holotype of C. caerulopunctatum in Bass, D"Aubrey and Kistnasamy (1975c) with specimens of C. plagiosum Compagno (1984) tentatively recognized this species as being valid, because it seemed to differ from C. plagiosum in having larger dorsal fins, a shorter blunter snout, possibly wider mouth, and a different coloration, with smaller blue rather than white spots and lighter ground colour.  [more...]

    Threat to humans: A particularly handsome and popular aquarium species, kept in public aquaria in Europe and the United States.
    Source of Information
    Sharks of the world An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Volume 2 Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). Leonard J.V. Compagno 2001.  FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 1, Vol. 2. Rome, FAO. 2001. p.269.
    Bass, D'Aubrey & Kistnasamy, 1975c
    Bauchot & Bianchi, 1984
    Bessednov, 1969
    Chen, 1963
    Compagno, 1984
    Cook & Compagno, 1994
    Dingerkus & DeFino, 1983
    Fowler, 1941
    Garman, 1913
    Gubanov & Schleib, 1980
    Herre, 1953
    M.-L. Bauchot & G. Bianchi (pers. comm.)
    Michael, 1993
    Nakaya & Shirai, 1984
    Pellegrin, 1914
    Powered by FIGIS