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Orectolobus wardi:   (click for more)

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Synonyms
Other Combinations:  None.
FAO Names
En - Northern wobbegong, Fr - Requin-tapis savetier, Sp - Tapicero zapatilla.
3Alpha Code: ORV     Taxonomic Code: 1070200204
Scientific Name with Original Description
Orectolobus wardi  Whitley, 1939, Rec. Australian Mus., 20: 264. Holotype: Australian Museum, Sydney, AMS-IA-7784, Cape Keith, Melville Island, northern Australia.
Diagnostic Features
fieldmarks: Flattened benthic sharks with dermal lobes on sides of head, symphysial groove on chin, variegated but rather sombre colour pattern of rounded, ocellate dark dorsal saddles with entire edging and light margins, interspaced with broad dusky areas without spots or 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.

Nasal barbels without branches. Two dermal lobes below and in front of eye on each side of head; dermal lobes behind spiracles unbranched 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 over about last fourth of pelvic-fin base. First dorsal-fin height about equal to base length.  Colour pattern variegated but dull and sombre compared to most other wobbegongs, dorsal surface of body with small, rounded, ocellate, light-edged saddle marks with entire margins, separated from each other by broad, dusky spaces without spots or broad reticulated lines. 
Geographical Distribution

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Western South Pacific: Confined to Australian waters (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia).
Habitat and Biology
A little-known but possibly common tropical inshore bottom shark of the Australian northern continental shelf.Occurs on shallow-water reefs in water less than 3 m deep, often in turbid areas. A nocturnal shark, inactive during the day, sometimes seen with its head under a ledge.


Probably ovoviviparous.  Presumably feeds on bottom invertebrates and fishes, but diet unrecorded.
Size
Maximum to at least 63 cm and possibly 100 cm; a 45 cm male was mature.
Interest to Fisheries
Interest to fisheries none at present.

Conservation Status : Conservation status unknown.
Local Names
Widespread : Northern wobbegong ,  North Australian wobbegong .
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
Last & Stevens, 1994
Marshall, 1965
Michael, 1993
Whitley, 1939, 1940
 
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