FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
FAO of the UN
Orectolobus japonicus:   (click for more)

See tree map  display tree map
Other Combinations:   or
FAO Names
En - Japanese wobbegong, Fr - Requin-tapis moustache, Sp - Tapicero japonés.
3Alpha Code: ORJ     Taxonomic Code: 1070200201
Scientific Name with Original Description
Orectolobus japonicus  Regan, 1906b, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7), 18(108): 435. Syntypes: British Museum (Natural History), BMNH 1862.11.1.18 and BMNH 1862.11.1.90 according to Eschmeyer (1998, Cat. Fish.: CD-ROM), two females, 1 000 and 780 mm TL, Japan.
Diagnostic Features
fieldmarks: Flattened benthic sharks with dermal lobes on sides of head, symphysial groove on chin, very conspicuous variegated colour pattern of broad dark dorsal saddles with light spots and corrugated edges, interspaced with light areas with dark broad reticular lines; also, mouth in front of eyes, long, basally branched nasal barbels, nasoral grooves and circumnarial grooves, two rows of enlarged fang-like teeth in upper jaw and three in lower jaw; first dorsal-fin origin over pelvic-fin bases.

Nasal barbels with a few branches. Five dermal lobes below and in front of eye on each side of head; dermal lobes behind spiracles branched and broad. No dermal tubercles or ridges on back. Interspace between dorsal fins longer than inner margin of first dorsal fin, about half first dorsal-fin base. Origin of first dorsal fin behind midbases of pelvic fins. First dorsal-fin height about equal to base length.  Colour pattern highly variegated and conspicuous, dorsal surface of body with conspicuous broad, dark rectangular saddles with deeply corrugated margins, dotted with light spots and not ocellate in appearance; interspaces between saddles light, with numerous broad reticulated lines. 
Geographical Distribution

Launch the Aquatic Species Distribution map viewer

Western North Pacific: off Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan (Province of China), Viet Nam, and Philippines.
Habitat and Biology
A little-known temperate to tropical inshore bottom shark, found on rocky and coral reefs.

A nocturnal shark, rarely observed by divers.
Ovoviviparous, with litters of up to 20 to 23 young. In captivity in an aquarium in Okinawa, Japan, gives birth in spring (March through May), and has been observed in courtship. The male grabs the female in the gill area while mating with her. The gestation period is about a year.  Eats primarily benthic fish, including lizardfishes (Synodontidae), cutlassfish (Trichiuridae), horse mackerel and other jacks (Carangidae), goatfishes (Mullidae), groupers (Serranidae), tilefishes (Malacanthidae), sea robins (Triglidae), whiting (Sillaginidae), parrotfishes (Scaridae), sea bream (Sparidae), croakers (Sciaenidae), also skates (Rajidae), shark egg-cases, cephalopods, and shrimp.
Maximum uncertain, reaches at least 107 cm. Size at birth 21 to 23 cm; a male was mature at 103 cm; adult females that gave birth in captivity were 101 to 107 cm.
Interest to Fisheries
Interest to fisheries probably limited, caught in set nets in Japan and used for human consumption; also taken in China, Taiwan (Province of China), Korea and Viet Nam.

Conservation Status : Conservation status uncertain.Probably viewed by ecotouristic divers in Japan, and kept in aquaria in Japan and the United States.
Local Names
Japan : Japanese carpet shark ,  Carpet shark ,  Bearded shark ,  Japanese bearded shark ,  Fringe shark ,  Kirinotobuka ,  Oose ,  Ôse .
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.
Chen, 1963
Compagno, 1984
Fourmanoir & Nhu-Nhung, 1965
Fowler, 1941
Garman, 1913
Herre, 1953
Lindberg & Legeza, 1959
Masuda, Araga & Yoshino, 1975
Matsubara, 1955
Michael ,  1993. 
Nakaya & Shirai, 1984
Ogilby & McCulloch, 1908
Regan, 1908a
Uchida, 1982
Uchida, Toda & Kamei, 1990
Powered by FIGIS