Animal Species:Blind Shark, Brachaelurus waddi (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

The common name of this species arose from its behaviour of closing its eyes when landed by anglers. The Blind Shark lives in shallow coastal waters and feeds at night on invertebrates and small fishes.

A Blind Shark in Nelson Bay

David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson

Standard Common Name

Blind Shark

Identification

The Blind Shark has a slightly flattened head, small eyes and a nasal barbel projecting from both nostrils. It has two dorsal fins that are close together and located well back on the body. The small anal fin is located just before the long caudal fin.

The species is brown to black on top and yellowish below. It often has light spots and about eleven dark saddles across the back.

Size range

It grows to 1.2 m in length.

Distribution

It occurs from southern Queensland to southern New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Brachaelurus waddi

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Blind Shark specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Blind Shark lives in shallow coastal waters. Juveniles are often seen in high-energy surge zones, whereas adults are usually seen during the day in caves and under ledges.  It occurs in depths ranging from the intertidal zone down to 140 m.

Feeding and Diet

It feeds at night on invertebrates and small fishes.

Danger to humans and first aid

It is a harmless species.

Classification

Species:
waddi
Genus:
Brachaelurus
Family:
Brachaeluridae
Order:
Orectolobiformes
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Blind Shark, Brachaelurus waddi, Brachaeluridae, shallow coastal waters, flattened head, small eyes, nasal barbel, brown, black, yellowish underside, light spots, eleven dark saddles, dots/spots, > 1m,