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Parascyllium variolatum:   (click for more)

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Synonyms
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  • Parascyllium nuchalis  McCoy, 1874: 15, pl. 2. Holotype: National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, NMV no number (apparently lost according to Eschmeyer, 1998: CD-ROM), 84 cm adult female, Hobson's Bay, Victoria, Australia.
    Other Combinations:  None.
    FAO Names
    En - Necklace carpetshark, Fr - Requin carpette à collier, Sp - Alfombrera colarina.
    3Alpha Code: OPV     Taxonomic Code: 1070700204
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Hemiscyllium variolatum  Dumeril, 1853, Rev. Mag. Zool. (2) 5: 121, fig. 1. Holotype: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MNHN-1004, 36 cm TL female, from "côtes de l'Australie" (= Tasmania).
    Diagnostic Features
    fieldmarks: The bold, beautiful colour pattern of this shark is unmistakable: a unique, broad, dark, white-spotted collar around the gills, striking black spots or blotches on all fins, dark blotches and dense white spots on body; also, barbels, nasoral and circumnarial grooves present, mouth in front of eyes, two equal-sized, spineless dorsal fins and an anal fin, the first dorsal-fin origin behind the pelvic-fin bases, and the anal-fin origin well in front of the second dorsal-fin origin.

    Dark greyish or brown (to chocolate brown) above and below, with six indistinct dark saddles variably present or obscure on trunk and tail; a blackish brown, extremely conspicuous collar marking around the gill region, densely spotted with white like a necklace of pearls; body clouded with irregular dark brown blotches and closely sprinkled with small to large white spots; bold black spots or blotches present on all fins, including prominent blotches on the precaudal fins and black spots alternating with white on the dorsal and ventral web of the caudal fin; discrete dark spots not present on sides of trunk and tail. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Western South Pacific: South coast of Australia (Western Australia off Dongara to South Australia, and Victoria off Lakes Entrance, also north coast of Tasmania, but possibly including more than one species, the typical eastern form with type locality Tasmania and an additional western form from Western Australia).
    Habitat and Biology
    A temperate-water bottom shark of the Australian continental shelf,at depths from inshore down to about 180 m. Apparently found in a variety of habitats, including sandy bottom, on rocky reefs, in beds of kelp, and in seagrass beds, but details of its ecology are virtually unknown.


    Biology little-known, probably oviparous.  Common or unabundant, but nocturnal and seldom seen during the day. Juveniles hide under rocks and bottom debris in shallow water.Coloration may vary considerably, and individuals taken on different bottoms vary in coloration including light spots and dark mottling and saddles, but little is known of the basis of these differences.
    Size
    Maximum about 91 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Probably not utilized at present in fisheries. Role in aquarium trade unknown, but an obvious candidate for public display and for private aquaria.

    Conservation Status : Conservation status uncertain.
    Local Names
    Widespread : Varied carpet shark ,  Southern catshark ,  Southern collared cat shark ,  Necklace carpet shark ,  Varied catshark ,  Hémiscylle tacheté .
    Remarks
    Last and Stevens (1994) noted that "Another white-spotted form occurring off southernWestern Australia may be an additional undescribed species."
    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
    Fowler, 1941
    Last & Stevens, 1994
    McCulloch, 1911
    Michael, 1993
    Stead, 1963
    Whitley, 1940
     
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