ANIMAL: White-Spotted Bamboo Shark Chiloscyllium plagiosum Type of Animal: Carpet Shark Habitat: Inshore/nearshore shallow & tidal subtropical/tropical reefs & associated waters, often found on bottom & in crevices Location(s): Indo-West Pacific areas w to India & Sri Lanka. Disjunct population off Madagascar. Appearance: Brown w/ darker brown bands & scattered white & black spots, elongated narrow body plan w/ lobed fins & rounded snout. Pups lighter in color. Food/Diet: Crabs, shrimp, bony fish, squid, mussels, clams, snails, starfish, scallops Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding from aquariums, zoos, marine parks, & private breeders Lifestyle: Found in small schools of 3-20 sharks. Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young-Pup Group-School Weight: Male: 2.5-3 lbs Female: 5 lbs Gestation: 3.5 months Life Span: 25 years Body Length: Male: 1.5-2.5 ft Female: 3-3.5 ft Young: 0.67 ft Tail Length: Male: 1 ft Female: 1.854-2.345 ft Main predators are larger fish & marine mammals. Often called white-spotted catshark, due to nasal barbels near mouth resembling whiskers, which help locate hidden food in sand. Also called blue-spotted bamboo shark. Like other sharks, they have electroreceptors (ampulae of lorenzini) along snout to help locate prey. Mostly active at night (nocturnal). Potential threats-overfishing, habitat degradation due to dynamite & cyanide fishing, water pollution, marine debris, over-collecting for private aquarium trade, accidental bycatch, & use in medicinal trade. Meat considered delicacy in Madagascar & Taiwan. Like other sharks, males have external appendages called claspers used to fertilize female. These sharks lay eggs in egg cases (sometimes called mermaids’ purses). They’re quite sedentary & slow-moving. Multiple animals often squeeze into rock crevices to hide. Fun Fact(s): Teeth can pivot backwards in order to consume harder shelled prey. They can manipulate muscular pectoral fins to “walk” on seabed. They do very well in captivity & breed readily. Sharks lack swim bladders, instead having livers producing oil called squalene giving it buoyancy. Albinism occurs in 1 of every 10,000 individuals. Parthenogenesis (ability of unfertilized eggs to develop into embryos w/o sperm) has occurred a few times in this species. These sharks quite docile often appearing in public aquarium touch pools. Sometimes kept in very large home aquariums.