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CSIRO. Part I. The Spotted Wobbegong can be recognised by the skin flaps around the snout margin and the distinctive colour pattern of dark saddles and white rings on a yellow to greenish-brown background. [10], The spotted wobbegong gathers in groups. The species name maculatuscomes from the Latin word macula which means spot, and refers to the shark's spotted colouration. [4] The species exhibits ovoviviparity, with embryos developing inside their mother's body until ready to hatch. [18] Threats to wobbegong include trawl fishing, beach seines, gillnets, lobster pots and traps, targeting by hook-and-line and spearfishing.[19]. The species is widely distributed in subtropical and temperate Australian waters. Its flesh is edible and has thus caused it to be a target of fishing. Litters typically contain between 20–37 individuals. Marine & Freshwater Research, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, studied and compared the electroreceptors of the spotted wobbegong to those of the Australian angelshark (Squatina australis), a distantly related shark species. Wobbegongs are bottom-dwelling sharks, spending much of their time resting on the sea floor. This website may contain names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Other characteristics of the species includ… It is nocturnal, resting at day and feeding on fish and invertebrates at night. [3] Its specific name, maculatus, means "spotted" in Latin, named as such for the spotted pattern of its body. The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. In one circumstance, a spotted wobbegong specimen bit off a fisherman's foot. (2006). However, the spotted wobbegong has smaller and less dense dorsal fins, which lack the black markings that the dwarf spotted wobbegong's dorsal fins have, differentiating the two fishes. [7] It grows in the range of 150–180 centimetres (59–71 in), but can reach 320 centimetres (130 in). Alternate common names in English for the species include carpet shark, common carpet shark, common catshark, tassel shark, and wobbegong. Limit is "one shark per person" of any species, with a maximum length of 1.5 m. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. Limit is "two sharks per person" of any combination of species. [10], The spotted wobbegong is endemic to Australia, usually living in tropical waters no deeper than 218 metres (715 ft). Males have also been observed to bite females during courtship. Multiple conservation actions have taken place for this species, particularly since 2006. It is a large, robust species, typically reaching 4.9-5.9 feet in length, but there have been reports of them reaching longer. You have reached the end of the page. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). [10], The Spotted wobbegong was nominated for listing under the EPBC Act as a Vulnerable species in 2013, but the nomination was rejected. The spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) is a carpet shark in the family Orectolobidae, endemic to Australia. The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which the Museum stands. It is green, yellow, or brown in colour,[4] with a darker back and darker saddles. The Spotted wobbegong may be the largest species of Wobbegong, growing to 3 meters (9.8 feet) in length. Its defence mechanism is a bite, which can cause severe wounds due to the species' tendency to hold its bite for a long time. Composition of Scientific Words. [5] Sightings have been reported in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, in the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean. In this section, there's a wealth of information about our collections of scientific specimens and cultural objects. 1940. Commercial fishers are limited to 6 per day and minimum length of 130 cm. The species was described by Pierre Joseph Bonnaterre in 1778. They often lie on sand or rocky reef bottoms and are frequently seen by divers. In this section, explore all the different ways you can be a part of the Museum's groundbreaking research, as well as come face-to-face with our dedicated staff. The genus name most likely refers to the barbels on the head. 433. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Its skin has been utilised for decorating historically, but whether it is utilised in such a way currently is unknown. The following papers published in 2008 have used specimens from the Australian Museum fish collection. The name ‘wobbegong’ is believed to given to this species originated from the Australian Aboriginal language which means ‘Shaggy beard’. [5], The following diagram shows the relationship between the spotted wobbegong and five other selected species in the genus Orectolobus:[6], The spotted wobbegong has a large, robust body, which thins beyond its pelvic fins. Receive the latest news on events, exhibitions, science research and special offers. 882. This shark has unique spots around its body, hence the name. The selection of specimens in a group was previously thought to be at random or due to food advantages, but a study led by Macquarie University concluded that spotted wobbegongs associate with preferred partners for "social" purposes, and some specimens do not associate at all. [3] Other characteristics of the species include dermal flaps surrounding the rim of its mouth,[8] large barbels extending from its nostrils,[7] and large spiracles. It is a large, robust species, typically reaching 150–180 centimetres (59–71 in) in length. They h… The spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) is a species of wobbegong found around Queensland, Australia and the Indian Ocean between latitudes 20 and 40 degrees South. Sharks and Rays of Australia. 437. Although it has not been confirmed, the species may always return to a single site repeatedly throughout its life. [1] It is also frequently confused with the ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus). [2] He classified it in the genus Squalus, with the full scientific name of Squalus maculatus. A Spotted Wobbegong at a depth of 18 m, below Old Man's Hat, North Head, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, 22 March 2009. 1956. Some records have misidentified other fish species living in Japan and the South China Sea as this species. New Holland. It has six to ten dermal lobes behind and in front of its eye and a tubercle above its eye. The genus name Orectolobus comes from the Greek words orectos, meaning stretched out, and lobos meaning a rounded projection or protuberance. The species is fished for commercially in Australia, but it is not severely threatened. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection, Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI), Natural Sciences research and collections, Australian Museum Lizard Island Research Station, 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes finalists, 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes winners, Become a volunteer at the Australian Museum. Name: Spotted Wobbegong (View AKA's) Family: Wobbegongs Species: Shark Scientific Name: Orectolobus maculatus The spotted wobbegong has a more complex electrosensory system than the Australian angelshark, and the spotted wobbegong has a pore cluster inside its snout that is not present in the Australian angelshark. It’ll turn everything you thought you knew about sharks on its head. Feeding occurs mainly at night and includes prey items such as fishes, crayfish, crabs and octopuses. [9], A nocturnal species, the spotted wobbegong feeds at night and rests in sandy bottoms, coral reefs, and coastal bays in the day. The fishes of Australia. It is a large, robust species, typically reaching 4.9-5.9 feet in length, but there have been reports of them reaching longer. Pp. The Spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) is a shark belonging to the family Orectolobidae, endemic to Australia. Therefore, the two wobbegongs are classified as two separate species. Like all wobbegongs, it has a short mouth and broad pharynx, which allow it to suck up prey more easily. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. [11], Females give birth in the spring, after a gestation period of almost a year. [11] The study occurred in a small marine reserve over a 15-month period. Circa 2013, the IUCN Red List described the species as Vulnerable in the waters of New South Wales and Near Threatened in Australian waters. Pp. Origin of the Name When looking at the spotted wobbegong, it would not be a surprise why it is called so. Southern Spotted Opah, Lampris australensis Underkoffler, Luers, Hyde & Craig 2018. These include instances when divers are bitten after harassing or trying to touch sharks, attacks on spearfishers, attacks on people attempting to feed sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net, etc": The Australian Shark Attack File defines a provoked attack as one "where the person involved was fishing for, spearing, stabbing, feeding, netting or handling a shark, or where the shark was attracted to the victim by activities such as fishing, spear-fishing and cleaning of captured fish". [17] Reports of wobbegongs biting boats are known in literature, but it has not been confirmed that these attacks were by the spotted wobbegong in particular. We acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging. [13] In 1789, Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales, wrote about the spotted wobbegong, which he called "Watts's Shark", in his book Voyage to Botany Bay. For both species, these electroreceptors are an important mechanism in feeding. Spotted wobbegongs are bycatch species in various fisheries and are allowed to be fished by recreational fishers in some Australian states,[18] as per the table below: The International Shark Attack File defines a provoked attack as one "when a human initiates interaction with a shark in some way. He said that it ferociously attacked the dog of "Mr. Watts":[2], ... after having lain on the deck for two hours seemingly quiet, on Mr Watts's dog passing by, the shark sprang on it with all the ferocity imaginable, and seized it by the leg, nor could the dog have disengaged himself had not the people near at hand come to his assistance, There have been reports of unprovoked attacks on humans, including divers well above the bottom,[14] while Compagno noted of such reports that "it is often difficult to determine which species was involved or what the precise circumstances were that led to the incident". [16] In total, the Australian Shark Attack File has recorded 51 instances where the unprovoked attack,[b] on a human was confirmed to be by any species of wobbegong shark in the years 1900 to 2009, none of which were fatal. The Australian Museum will reopen to the public on Saturday 28 November after a 15 month $57.5m building transformation, and general admission will be FREE to celebrate the reopening of this iconic cultural institution. Source: Atlas of Living Australia. Crawford House Press. Records are also known of the species living in Tasmania and the Northern Territory, but these are likely to be invalid. The species' prey have been known to wander right up to it, including near its mouth, sometimes nibbling its tentacles. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. State Print, Adelaide. & J.D. It is covered with O-shaped spots, which distinguish it from other species that look similar to it. Spotted wobbegong is a master of escaping notice in plain sight. Even the scientific name Orectolobus maculatus is a derivation from this shark’s appearance. Pp. No commercial targeting occurs here. [5] Because of the species' colour pattern, it camouflages well on rocky bottoms. Image credit: gadigal yilimung (shield) made by Uncle Charles Chicka Madden. Stevens. This page was last edited on 17 September 2020, at 02:00. It is green, yellow, or brown in colour, with a darker back and darker saddles. Pp. Scientific name Tasselled wobbegong, Eucrossorhinus dasypogon Spotted wobbegong, Orectolobus maculatus Northern wobbegong, Orectolobus wardi Banded wobbegong, Orectolobus halei Ornate wobbegong, Size Range It is possibly endemic to Australia. Bonnaterre redescribed the species in 1788 in Orectolobus, its current genus, making its full scientific name Orectolobus maculatus, with Squalus maculatus now a synonym of it. [1], Although the spotted wobbegong is generally docile with humans, it is sometimes aggressive with them. The Spotted Wobbegong has a pattern of dark saddles, white o-shaped spots and white blotches. 513, Pl. Family: Orectolobidae – Wobbegongs From William Dampier in 1688 - to Phillip Parker King in 1818. Family: Orectolobidae – Wobbegongs Etymology The specific name maculatus is from the Last, P.R. What is Wobbegong Shark The wobbegong sharks are bottom-dwelling sharks and spend their most of time resting on the sea floor. Common Galaxias, Galaxias maculatus (Jenyns, 1842), Sharpnose Sevengill Shark, Heptranchias perlo (Bonnaterre, 1788), Porbeagle, Lamna nasus (Bonnaterre, 1788), Banded Carpet Shark, Orectolobus halei Whitley, 1940, Black-spotted Wrasse, Austrolabrus maculatus (Macleay, 1881), Warty Prowfish, Aetapcus maculatus (Günther, 1861), Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre, 1788). Other common names include: gevlekte bakerhaai (Dutch) rengaspartahai (Finnish) requin-tapis tacheté (French) wobbegong (German) kumohada-ôse (Japanese) tapicero manchado (Spanish) 992. Spotted wobbegong sharks, Orectolobus maculatus (Bonnaterre, 1788), aka wobbegongs, reach a maximum length of 3.2 m with the average size of adult males between 1.5-1.8m. They are used to detect the electric fields of nearby animals, making it easier to find prey. Spotted Wobbegongs live in shallow coastal waters down to about 100 m depth. [10] The International Shark Attack File lists 4 unprovoked attacks,[a] known to be by the spotted wobbegong, none of which were fatal. Their body and heads are flattened in shape, and their jaws protrude forward when capturing prey. The Spotted Wobbegong differs from Orectolobus halei in having saddles with whitish rings and blotches, and more dermal lobes (6-10) at the rear end of the preorbital group. The Spotted wobbegong may be the largest species of Wobbegong, growing to 3 meters (9.8 feet) in length. Pp. It’ll turn everything you thought you knew about sharks on its head. Let me introduce you to the spotted wobbegong shark (Orectolobus maculatus) and the rest of its wobbegong comrades. [10] It may also attack a human holding a speared or hooked fish, as well as the fish itself. [4] Its body lacks ridges or caudal keels. [5] Male wobbegongs in Sydney, likely including this species, fight with other males in the breeding season. It grows in the range of 150–180 centimetres (59–71 in), but can reach 320 centimetres (130 in). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. [4], The spotted wobbegong has previously been synonymised with Orectolobus parvimaculatus, the dwarf spotted wobbegong, in Western Australia. [3] Divers sometimes pull it by the tail during its daytime resting period, which often provokes it enough to bite. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. Stevens, J.D. These amazing sharks are mottled yellow-green or brown in color with saddle- and O-shaped markings. Wobbegongs are well camouflaged with a symmetrical pattern of bold markings which resembles a carpet. 1-84. The Spotted Wobbegong can be recognised by the skin flaps around the snout margin and the distinctive colour pattern of dark saddles and white rings on a yellow to greenish-brown background. R. W. Brown. Its diet consists of fishes, including luderick, scorpionfishes, basses, and rays, and various invertebrates, such as crabs, lobsters, and octopuses. Other common names include: gevlekte bakerhaai (Dutch) rengaspartahai (Finnish) Most species have a maximum length of 1.25 m (4.1 ft) or less, but the largest, the spotted wobbegong, Orectolobus maculatus, and banded wobbegong, O. halei, reach about 3 m (9.8 ft) in length. [3], Like other sharks, the spotted wobbegong has abundant pores that operate as electroreceptors in its skin. Spotted Wobbegong. An ovoviviparous species, the spotted wobbegong gives birth in the spring, during which time males can act aggressively towards other males and females. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand. — O. maculatusis commonly known as the wobbegon or spotted wobbegon in the English language. It is listed as a least-concern species on the IUCN Red List. Brown, R.W. Photo © Robert Harcourt O. maculatus is commonly known as the wobbegon or spotted wobbegon in the English language. [4] Adults most commonly occur on algae-covered rocky reefs and meadows of sea grass or sand, while juveniles are mostly found in estuaries. Coloured green, yellow, or brown, it has distinctive O-shaped spots throughout its body. [3][4] Other synonyms of the species include Squalus barbatus (Gmelin, 1789), Squalus lobatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801), Squalus appendiculatus (Shaw & Nodder, 1806), and Squalus labiatus (Bleeker, 1857). Name Scientific: Orectolobus maculatus German: Gepunkteter Teppichhai English: Spotted Wobbegong French: Requin-tapis tachete Spanish: Tapicero manchado Appearance "Nurse … The Spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) is a shark belonging to the family Orectolobidae, endemic to Australia. Out of the 15 tagged and observed specimens, 14 associated with more than one individual, and sex, size, or familiarity did not affect the association of groups. The spotted wobbegong has been confused with the Gulf wobbegong (Orectolobus hatei) in New South Wales, but the white marks of the spotted wobbegong, as well as its greater number of dermal lobes, distinguish the two species. Young are 21 centimetres (8.3 in) long directly after hatching and males become sexually mature when they reach roughly 60 centimetres (24 in). It is covered with O-shaped spots, which distinguish it from other species that look similar to it. 'Wobbegong' is an Australian aboriginal word. Royal Zoological Society N.S.W., Australian Zoological Handbook 1-280. Its body lacks ridges or caudal keels. in Gomon, M.F., J.C.M. 1994. Thank you for reading. Australian Museum Cashier, Chai Griffin was bitten by a small Wobbegong Shark at a depth of 19m during a morning dive on 26 April 2004. Join us, volunteer and be a part of our journey of discovery! It is unknown if its population is decreasing or increasing, but it is not severely fragmented as of 2015. It is listed as a species of least concern on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature as of 23 March 2015, after having been assessed as near threatened in 2003 and 2009. Limit is "one shark per person" of any species. The species occurs along the southern coastline of Australia from southern Queensland to south-western Western Australia. You have reached the end of the main content. The spotted wobbegong's genus name is based on the Greek words "orektos" and "lobos", and translates roughly to "stretched out lobe". [1][4], The species' primary threat in eastern Australia is fishing for commercial purposes. [1] 38 specimens caught from 1882 to 1995 were found in waters 20–176 metres (66–577 ft) deep. Come and explore what our researchers, curators and education programs have to offer! The spotted wobbegong has a large, robust body, which thins beyond its pelvic fins. [13] The species can attack if caught with a fishing line or net, or if speared. International Union for Conservation of Nature, "Conservation Overview and Action Plan for Australian Threatened and Potentially Threatened Marine and Estuarine Fishes", "Spotted wobbegong sharks demonstrate social clique behaviour", "Changing patterns of shark attacks in Australian waters", "Orectolobus maculatus - Advice to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (the Committee) on Amendment to the list of Threatened Species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Spotted_wobbegong&oldid=978808091, All Wikipedia articles written in Australian English, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which the Museum stands. [3] Reports are known of it attacking people if they step on it or put a limb near its mouth. Whitley, G.P. Most species have a maximum length of 1.25 m (4.1 ft), but the largest, the spotted wobbegong, Orectolobus maculatus, and banded wobbegong, O. halei, reach about 3 m (9.8 ft) in length. Spotted wobbegongs, like other wobbegong species, have nasal barbels and hanging tassels on and around their head and body. The spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) is a species of wobbegong found around Queensland, Australia and the Indian Ocean between latitudes 20 and 40 degrees South. The genus name Orectolobus comes from the Greek words orectos , meaning stretched out, and lobos meaning a rounded projection or protuberance. Records from Japan and the South China Sea are probably errors. It has been known to bite humans, sometimes unprovoked, which can produce severe wounds. Learn the scientific name, discover the habitat, diet and special characteristics of the Spotted Wobbegong with the Georgia Aquarium. [12] Rob Harcourt, a researcher, stated "What we found was that sharks were interacting in a much more complex way than we predicted". It has six to ten dermal lobes behind and in front of its eye[7] and a tubercle above its eye. In Queensland, it is sometimes caught as a bycatch but is not fished for intentionally. 1994.

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