The Australian Angelshark is a bottom-dwelling species that can be recognised by its depressed body and large pectoral fins that are not fully joined to the head. In Australia it occurs from New South Wales, around the south of the country including Tasmania, and north to south-western Western Australia.
The Australian Angelshark has a depressed body and large pectoral fins that are not fully joined to the head. It has a blunt snout and nostrils with skin flaps. There are two equal-sized dorsal fins on the tail. The species is white below and grey to brown above with numerous pale spots.
It occurs in marine coastal waters. It is usually seen on sandy bottoms where it can be extremely well camouflaged.
In Australia it occurs from New South Wales, around the south of the country including Tasmania, and north to south-western Western Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Ozcam map of Australian Angelshark specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=squatina%20australis&zoom=off#mapView
Danger to humans
It s not considered dangerous to people, but should not be handled. Its bite can cause serious wounds.
- Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
- Glover, C.J.M. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
- Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.