Draughtboard Shark, Cephaloscyllium laticeps Click to enlarge image
Dorsal and lateral views of a Draughtboard Shark from the Australian Museum fish collection. This specimen is the holotype of Cephaloscyllium isabella laticeps nascione, Whitley, 1932 (AMS IA.2829). It was collected at a depth of 165 m, 38 km north-east of Montague Island, New South Wales in September 1926. Image: Mark Allen
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    laticeps
    Genus
    Cephaloscyllium
    Family
    Scyliorhinidae
    Order
    Carcharhiniformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to about 1.5 m in length.

The Draughtboard Shark is a stocky species that has a short broad head and widely spaced denticles. The species is endemic to Australia occuring in depths to at least 650 m, but is sometimes seen by divers in relatively shallow depths.



Identification

The Draughtboard Shark is a stocky species that has a short broad head and widely spaced denticles. There are two dorsal fins. The second dorsal fin which is located close to the caudal fin, is smaller than the first.

The species is grey to brownish above and pale below. The sides of the body are mottled with irregular dark blotches and a few pale flecks. There is usually a dark area below both eyes and a dark stripe along the midline of the belly.

Habitat

It is a benthic species that occurs most commonly in continental shelf and continental slope waters down to at least 650 m, but is sometimes seen by divers in relatively shallow waters.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia, occurring from the central coast of New South Wales, around the temperate south of the country, including Tasmania, to south-eastern Western Australia.

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.



Draughtboard shark egg case
Draughtboard shark egg case. The Draughtboard shark is endemic to Australia, occurring from the central coast of New South Wales, around the temperate south of the country, including Tasmania, to south-eastern Western Australia. It is a benthic species that occurs most commonly in continental shelf and continental slope waters down to at least 650 m, but is sometimes seen by divers in relatively shallow waters. Females lay distinctive flask-shaped egg cases that have 19 to 27 strong transverse ridges. The egg cases are laid on the bottom where the tendrils attach to bottom-dwelling invertebrates and seaweed. Image: Victor Belbin
© Victor Belbin

Other behaviours and adaptations

When disturbed, the Draughtboard Shark can increase its body size by inflating its stomach with air or water.

Breeding behaviours

Females lay distinctive flask-shaped egg cases that have 19 to 27 strong transverse ridges. The egg cases are laid on the bottom where the tendrils attach to bottom-dwelling invertebrates and seaweed.

References

  1. Stevens, J.D. 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.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.