Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    waddi
    Genus
    Brachaelurus
    Family
    Brachaeluridae
    Order
    Orectolobiformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 1.2 m in length.

Introduction

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.

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.

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.

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

Ozcam map of Blind Shark specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Brachaelurus%20waddi&zoom=off#mapView

Feeding and diet

It feeds at night on invertebrates and small fishes.

Danger to humans

It is a harmless species.

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.