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Hemiscyllium hallstromi:   (click for more)

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Synonyms
Other Combinations:  None.
FAO Names
En - Papuan epaulette shark, Fr - Requin-chabot épaulette, Sp - Bamboa hombrera.
3Alpha Code: ORK     Taxonomic Code: 1070400202
Scientific Name with Original Description
Hemiscyllium hallstromi  Whitley, 1967, Australian Zool., 14(2): 178. Syntypes: Australian Museum, Sydney, AMS-I.15717-001, 730 mm adult male, and AMS-I.15584-001, 765 mm TL adult male, vicinity of Port Moresby, Papua-New Guinea. AMS-I.15717-001 designated as lectotype by Dingerkus and DeFino, 1983, Bull. American Mus. Nat. Hist., 176(1): 40.
Diagnostic Features
fieldmarks: Mouth well in front of eyes; spineless dorsal fins far posterior on tail, extremely elongated thick precaudal tail, long and low anal fin just anterior to caudal fin; no dark spots on snout, dark wide-spaced spots on body, a conspicuous large black ocellar spot on flanks above pectoral fins, surrounded by smaller black spots, no black hood or white spots.

Prebranchial head and snout without a black hood; underside of the head uniformly light and without dark spots; preorbital snout without spots. Black epaulette spot of shoulder strongly marked, large, in the form of a conspicuous white-ringed ocellus and two or three large round black spots surrounding the posterior and dorsal part of the ocellus. White spots absent from fins and body; body and unpaired fins with small to large dark spots, some as large as epaulette spot, dark spots loose-set and not forming a reticular network of light background colour between them; pectoral and pelvic fins with conspicuous black webs and light margins in young, fading in adults to dusky, no light or dark spots on paired fins. Dark saddles on dorsal surface and sides of tail extending as dark crossbands onto ventral surface of preanal tail in young, but saddles and crossbands lost in adults which have uniform light ventral surfaces on their preanal tails. 
Geographical Distribution

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Western South Pacific: Papua-New Guinea (Port Moresby Area, Torres Strait, Murray Island).
Habitat and Biology
A little-known inshore bottom shark, possibly on coral reefs.


Essentially unknown. A 188 mm specimen (Australian Museum, Sydney, AMS IB.7938) was reported by Dingerkus and DeFino (1983: 40) as having been "born in the Taronga Zoo Park Aquarium; received 1967 (one of the syntypes was father)", but they did not specify if the species was ovoviviparous rather than oviparous as with other hemiscylliids. 
Size
To about 77 cm total length. Smallest freeliving specimen 18.8 cm; males maturing between 47.6 and 63.9 cm; two adult males 73.0 and 76.5 cm.
Interest to Fisheries
Interest to fisheries none at present. It is not known if this shark is being affected by the aquarium trade.

Conservation Status : Its conservation status urgently needs to be assessed because of its rarity and restricted range. It is not known if it is being affected by pollution or destructive fisheries practices such as dynamiting or poisoning of coral reefs.
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.
Bibliography
Compagno, 1984
Dingerkus & DeFino, 1983
Whitley, 1967
 
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