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Whitefin swellshark

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes

Scientific Name: Cephaloscyllium albipinnum

Distribution: South eastern Australia from Port Lincoln, SA to Port Stephens, NSW, and including Tasmania.

Description: This species of catshark grows to at least 1.5 metres in length and is light brown in colour, with darker brown bands across the head, body and tail. The head is broad, with a flattened snout.

Habitat: Bottom dweller of theon the outer continental shelf and the upper continental slope, found in water between 120 -550m in depth

Ecology: Although it is common amongst the trawl bycatch off southern Australia, little is known about the ecology of this species. They are nocturnal, hunting molluscs, crustaceans and bony fishes during the night.

Interesting facts: These sharks can swell their stomachs with either water or air if disturbed or caught by fishers. Females lay a smooth, cream coloured egg case, pictured to the right, hatch in nine to 12 months.


Photo: Ros Asten

Whitefin swell shark egg case
Photo: Ros Asten


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