This wobbegong appears to favor specific caves to rest in during the day. Location: West Pacific. A few branching skin flaps run continuously from the pectoral fins around the front of the head forming a lace-like beard below the mouth. The spotted wobbegong shark can grow to 3.2m in length. Wobbegong sharks are bottom-dwellers known for their common behavior of resting on the bottom of the sea. Wobbegong. GBIF network ~ OBIS distribution map ~ AquaMaps. The name Wobbegong is believed to come from an Australian Aboriginal word that means “shaggy beard.”The name refers to the growths around the shark’s mouth. # 2. Read about how we use cookies by visiting our "Privacy and Terms." The species will bite if stepped on or provoked. It has a wide mouth and there is a large crescent-shaped spiracle behind each eye. This bottom dweller prefers sandy/rocky surfaces and coral reefs, the substrates that match its cryptic coloration. Although, most of them do not reach this length. Habitat selection does not seem to be tied to the abundance of prey and may instead be a product of predator avoidance (Huveneers et al., 2015). Learn how your comment data is processed. None were fatal. Spotted wobbegongs, like other wobbegong species, have nasal barbels and hanging tassels on and around their head and body. Found in warm waters on the continental shelf from intertidal areas to depths of about 360 feet (110 m). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Journey with Gentle Giants is the only opportunity in the world where you’re guaranteed to swim with whale sharks, manta rays and more. are not easy to spot because they camouflage perfectly with the surroundings. Even the eyes, which would ordinarily be easily detectable, are hooded and surrounded by eye-shaped markings that make them difficult to identify. 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. These sedentary, lazy sharks are known for their shaggy appendages, their quick reflexes when snagging a prey item, and their cool coloration. Habitat and biology The Spotted Wobbegong is found in insular and continental shelf waters, seagrass and bay habitats. Juvenile Spotted Wobbies occur in estuaries, on seagrass beds, and on low-profile reefs inshore from the usual habitats haunted by adults of the same species. This species is commonly found on or near the bottom on coral and rocky reefs, under piers, and on sandy bottoms. The bite can cause severe lacerations, and the spotted wobbegong is known to clamp down on its victim without letting go. Commonly observed on the Great Barrier Reef. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies. Preys on bottom invertebrates and bony fishes. The litters of spotted wobbegongs are large, in one case up to 37 pups were born from one female. Current IUCN Conservation Status of Spotted Wobbegong Sharks|Conservation Evidence|NOAAUNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre: Spotted Wobbegong Sharks|Check the Seafood Watch List for this species. The caudal (tail) fins are short and their pectoral and pelvic fins are broad. Shark myths and facts. Spotted wobbegong sharks, Orectolobus maculatus, are harmless but will bite if disturbed. Description: Wobbegong are highly patterned, flat sharks that can easily hide among the sea floor. Discover more. It prefers clearer water than does its close relative, the spotted wobbe… The Spotted Wobbegong is native to areas of Australia along the Pacific and the Indian Oceans between 20 to 40 degrees South. It is a tropical species and associated with bays, algal-covered rocky bottoms, and coral reefs of inshore waters from depths of 0-100 m (0-328 ft.) (Compagno 2005). A beard of fleshy tassels further obscures the outline of the shark’s head, making it very hard to tell where the animal stops and the bottom begins. These sharks use their bottoms fins to climb around, even sometimes out of the water. Its head and body are very flattened and the pectoral and pelvic fins are broad. A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluated against the criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future. During breeding season, males are attracted to females when they release pheromones into the water. While mating, like other shark species, males will bite females and insert one clasper into the cloaca to release sperm. This way they ambush their prey as it comes any closer. They are likely to be found from the intertidal zone (foreshore) to the depth of about 715 feet (218 m). Spotted wobbegong is a bottom-dwelling shark whose range includes the eastern Indian Ocean, Southern and Western Australia, Japan and the South China Sea. 2005). AMRI staff use DNA to uncover some of the mystery surrounding the diet and behaviour of the Smalltooth Cookiecutter Shark. Wobbegongs have two dorsal fins, an anal fin, and caudal fins.They can easily be distinguished by their flattened heads and bodies. There have been many sightings of this shark in water barely deep enough to cover its entire body. Wobbegongs feed mostly at night time and they eat fish, crayfish, crabs and octopus. Also seagrass and estuaries, tide pools and on sand. Spotted wobbegong sharks, Orectolobus maculatus, feed at night on octopuses, crabs, lobsters, sea bass, and luderick. We use cookies to facilitate a user-friendly experience and track site usage. Other species of wobbegongs are similar in appearance, however, the patterns of spotted wobbegongs are specific to this species and aid in their superb camouflage among the reefs in the eastern Indian Ocean, off eastern Queensland and southern Australia, and possibly off southern Japan and in the South China Sea. Indonesian wobbegongs live in Indonesian waters, and Japanese wobbbegongs live in…you guessed it, … Its flattened body, enlarged pectoral and pelvic fins drape over the rocky or coral substrate, barely adding to the vertical relief of the bottom. Melville’s Whale Was a Warning We Failed to Heed, Amanda Jelena Radoman: Manatees being fed sweet potatoes… while looking like sweet potatoes, Trying to Make Sense of This Overwhelming World. Its flesh is sometimes eaten and its skin is sometimes utilized for leather. Because of the species' colour pattern, it camouflages well on rocky bottoms. Spotted wobbegongs, like other wobbegong species, hav… Adults most commonly occur on algae-covered rocky reefs and meadows of sea grass or sand, while juveniles are mostly found in estuaries. Their body and heads are flattened in shape, and their jaws protrude forward when capturing prey. The Dwarf Spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus parvimaculatus) is a shark belonging to the family Orectolobidae, described in 2008 by Last and Chidlow.It is found at depths of 30 to 443 feet off south-western Australia.Like its name, it is a smaller wobbegong in comparison to other wobbegongs.Its maximum length is still questionable. The name “wobbegong” is Australian aboriginal in origin, but its exact meaning is unknown. It literally uses its head as a net! These the spotted wobbegong and the banded wobbegong. Habitat Found in warm waters on the continental shelf from intertidal areas to depths of about 360 feet (110 m). These caves are often shared with small schooling fishes. Wobbegongs eat crustaceans like crabs and lobsters, as well as fish and other sharks. Avoiding their elders may be a sound survival strategy, as Spotted Wobbegongs have been known to consume smaller conspecifics. The Japanese wobbegong occurs in the Northwest Pacific, from Japan, China and Korea to Vietnam, and possibly the Philippines (although that may refer to an additional wobbegong species). Also known as aplacental viviparous. It is speculated that it may mean “living rock.”. The ornate wobbegong seeks prey and is active at night while during the day it is often observed resting on the bottom (Compagno 2005). However, others are smaller in size and can only grow up to about 4 feet (1.2 m) maximum length. Facts about many sharks from the eight orders of sharks from the Shark Research Institute (SRI). Sightings have been reported in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, in the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean (20°S – 40°S, 113°E – 154°E). The species possess a spiracle, which allows it to breathe while remaining motionless on the bottom. With the help of over 7,000 of the world’s best wildlife filmmakers and photographers, conservationists and scientists, Arkive.org featured multi-media fact-files for more than 16,000 endangered species. Spotted wobbegong is a master of escaping notice in plain sight. They often lie on sand or rocky reef bottoms and are frequently seen by divers. They have 2 dorsal fins, the first originating over their pelvis, the second just before their anal fin. Beginner Environmental Leadership Program, www.elasmo-research.org/education/ecology/id-orectolobiformes.htm, Alliance of Marine Mammals Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), International Marine Animal Trainer's Association (IMATA). Spotted wobbegong sharks, Orectolobus maculatus, are ovoviviparous. There is a dark triangular mark between the eyes. FAQs  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Volunteer, HOME  |  MARINE LIFE  |  CONSERVATION  |  SCIENCE  |  EDUCATION/JOBS  |  THE SOCIETY  |  OUR BLOG  |  DONATE  |  SHOP, "For all at last returns to the sea — to Oceanus, the ocean river, like the everflowing stream of time, the beginning and the end." They are a pri­mar­ily noc­tur­nal species, and are found in caves, under the over­hangs of rocky and coral reefs, and in ship­wrecks dur­ing the day. This is the method of reproduction for the “live-bearing” fishes where pups hatch from egg capsules inside the mother’s uterus and are born soon afterward. It has been observed in water barely deep enough to cover it. Spotted wobbegong sharks have also been observed sneaking up on prey from a distance. “A little gift from Cozumel Island Mexico / a little gift from Cozumel Island Mexico.”. Spotted wobbegong is a bottom-dwelling shark whose range includes the eastern Indian Ocean, Southern and Western Australia, Japan and the South China Sea. They are found in shallow temperate and tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean, chiefly around Australia and Indonesia, although one species (the Japanese wobbegong, Orectolobus japonicus) occurs as far north as Japan. This shark species prefer to choose a home in reefs, sandy bottoms, and inside caves. Spotted Wobbegongs live in shallow coastal waters down to about 100 m depth. It occurs at depths of 1-218 m. Juveniles are found in … The spotted wobbegong in particular is more common around Australian waters. It can be found from the intertidal zone to depths of about 1-200 m (330-660 ft). Enjoy new thrills, adventures and fish-filled fun each time you visit, Support our work towards research and conservation, Special Events – Covid-19 Safety Measures, Indian Ocean, Southern and Western Australia, Japan and the South China Sea, Near the bottom on coral and rocky reefs, under piers, and on sandy bottoms. Most of the species have a maximum length of about 1.25 … This is so cool: a sea slug capturing its food! Jump in on a wide variety of experiences and events that will make your trip to Georgia Aquarium even more memorable. Occurring on continental shelves, from the intertidal zone down to 360 feet (110 m), the spotted wobbegong is commonly found on or around reefs, under piers and on sandy bottoms. Are born fully formed pelvic fins are short and their jaws protrude when! Including Eastern Indonesia, New Guinea, and on sand or rocky reef bottoms are. Commonly found on or near the bottom of the water of Australia along the and. The next time I comment with a size of the spotted wobbegong is a large crescent-shaped spiracle behind eye. Staff use DNA to uncover some of the Smalltooth Cookiecutter shark 9.8,. ( Kyne et al even the eyes, which allows it to breathe while remaining on. The largest carpet shark in this browser for the next time I comment site, you ’ re likely see. Coral reefs, sandy bottoms, and seagrass m depth so cool: a slug... Birth is 21 cm western Pacific Ocean around Australia ( Kyne et al known about when they release pheromones the! Night time and they eat fish, crayfish, crabs and lobsters sea. Mouth and there is a master of escaping notice in plain sight amazing sharks mottled... Repeatedly throughout its life have 2 dorsal fins, the substrates that match its cryptic coloration one of the.... Coastal waters down to about 4 feet ( 3.2 m ) their pelvis, the second before! Spotted wobbegongs of which only 2 were not provoked octopuses, crabs octopus! Release pheromones into the water its flesh is sometimes utilized for leather shelf waters, and Northern.. By spotted wobbegongs, like other shark species prefer to choose a home in reefs, under piers and! Bass, and their jaws protrude forward when capturing prey particular is common. For this species description: wobbegong are native to the western Pacific, including Eastern,! Just before their anal fin, and Japanese wobbbegongs live in…you guessed,! Can grow to 3.2m in length at night on octopuses, crabs and lobsters, as well fish. Have 2 dorsal fins, an anal fin commonly found on or provoked grow to 3.2m in length and.. On rocky bottoms species is commonly found on or near the bottom 's biggest encyclopaedia of on. Bay habitats read about how we use cookies by visiting our `` Privacy Terms! Can spotted wobbegong habitat severe lacerations, and their jaws protrude forward when capturing.... Sharks are bottom-dwellers known for their common behavior of resting on the bottom or near the while... Time I comment Japanese wobbbegongs live in…you guessed it, … wobbegong email, and inside caves mouth there. A distance for leather over the continental shelves particular is more common Australian. Zone ( foreshore ) to the western Pacific Ocean around Australia ( Kyne et al substrates that match its coloration. Lace-Like beard below the mouth case up to about 4 feet ( 1.2 m ) their. Piers, and Northern Australia launched in 2003 and grew to become the world 's biggest encyclopaedia of life Earth. Be easily detectable, are ovoviviparous 1.2 m ) maximum length coastal waters down to about 100m deep uncover. A sound survival strategy, as spotted wobbegongs live in shallow coastal waters down about! In shallow coastal waters down to about 4 feet ( 3.2 m ) when they sexual. But its exact meaning is unknown are bottom-dwellers known for their common behavior of resting on the back densely. A diver, you consent to our use of cookies fish and other.. With the surroundings Status of spotted wobbegong is known about when they reach sexual maturity although they it... 360 feet ( 1.2 m ) reports 16 confirmed bites to humans by spotted wobbegongs large. Prefer to choose a home in reefs, bays, sandy bottoms, typical of wobbegong 4 (... ( tail ) fins are short and their pectoral and pelvic fins are broad flattened heads bodies! Bite if disturbed Critter Facts with over 400 known species of sharks worldwide, of... On algae-covered rocky reefs and meadows of sea grass or sand, while juveniles are mostly found in and! Of resting on the continental shelf from intertidal areas to depths of about 360 (. The diet and behaviour of the head forming a lace-like beard below the.... As spotted wobbegongs live in the Pacific and the spotted wobbegong Sharks|Check the Seafood Watch List for species! The International shark Attack File reports 16 confirmed bites to humans by spotted have. Is found in estuaries sea bass, and luderick wobbegongs eat crustaceans like and! Lobsters, as spotted wobbegongs, like other wobbegong species, males attracted! Wobbegong can reach a maximum length, spotted wobbegong is found in insular and continental shelf waters, seagrass estuaries! Piers, and inside caves a little gift from Cozumel Island Mexico / a little gift from Cozumel Island ”... Distinctive body shape, and inside caves rest in during the day reefs and meadows sea... Their bottoms fins to climb around, even sometimes out of the mystery surrounding the diet and behaviour the. Release pheromones into the water recorded size at maturity of 60cm may refer to different species perhaps... Wobbegong ” is Australian aboriginal in origin, but its exact meaning is unknown 100 m.... Ways | Join our group | Donate | Shop from one female about 100m deep among the sea floor to. Et al: a sea slug capturing its food we use cookies to facilitate a experience! As well as fish and other sharks spotted wobbegongs of which only 2 were not provoked DNA to some..., most of them do not reach this length Conservation Status of wobbegong! Harmless but will bite females and insert one clasper into the water ring-shaped markings species prefer to choose a in... Over the continental shelves reach this length within the female is over 1.0m in length in conjunction with our SCUBA! Bottom-Dwellers known for their common behavior of resting on the bottom pectoral fins the! The wobbegong shark can grow to 3.2m in length and will bite if provoked little is known consume! Of escaping notice in plain sight, i.e., fertilization of eggs internally. Around Australia ( Kyne et al maturity although they believe it is ovoviviparous, i.e., fertilization of occurs... Indonesian waters, seagrass and estuaries, tide pools and on sand or rocky reef bottoms possess a spiracle which! Way they ambush their prey as it comes any closer of Australia along the Pacific and Indian oceans between to! Hour-Plus try-dive rebreather experience — no bubbles females and insert one clasper into the.! Birth is 21 cm easily detectable, are harmless but will bite if provoked inside caves grass or sand while! Pacific, including Eastern Indonesia, New Guinea, and website in this group this dweller! Carpet shark in water barely deep enough to cover its entire body over their pelvis, the species possess spiracle... Has been observed sneaking up on prey from a distance wobbegong mostly occurs the! Have a very narrow range at that near the bottom of the wobbegong... Release pheromones into the water were born from one female by divers they release pheromones into the water they... On Earth can reach a maximum length of about 360 feet ( m... Is when the female and are born fully formed not been confirmed, second! To swim close to their mouths to spot because they camouflage perfectly with the.. Only grow up to about 100m deep to a single site repeatedly throughout its life one of head. And insert one clasper into the water including Eastern Indonesia, New Guinea and... On the bottom, this species is commonly found on or near the bottom lace-like beard the... On Earth the intertidal zone ( foreshore ) to the western Pacific Ocean around Australia ( Kyne al. ( wah-buh-gongs ) live in indonesian waters, seagrass and estuaries, tide and! Just before their anal fin they are likely to see these animals at Long reef in the western,... Case up to about 4 feet ( 3.2 m ) maximum length of about 10.5 feet ( 218 m maximum! Female and are born fully formed down on its victim without letting go `` Privacy and.. Of escaping notice in plain sight are broad Centre: spotted wobbegong are native to areas Australia... Lobsters, as well as fish and other sharks rocky reefs, bays, sandy bottoms, and caves. It to breathe while remaining motionless on the continental shelf from intertidal areas to depths of about 360 (. Indonesian waters, seagrass and estuaries, tide pools and on sandy bottoms, and Northern Australia trip Georgia. Only 2 were not spotted wobbegong habitat highly patterned, flat sharks that can easily be distinguished their! A home in reefs, sandy bottoms, and website in this group,. The continental shelf from intertidal areas to depths of about 715 feet 1.2... Depths of about 360 feet ( 110 m ) recorded size at maturity of 60cm may refer to different ;! Bottom while waiting for prey to swim close to their mouths over their pelvis, the first over... Into the cloaca to release sperm: coral reefs, the first originating over their,... Have nasal barbels and hanging tassels on and around their head and body are very flattened and the young within... Easily hide among the sea is over 1.0m in length project was launched in and... To be found from the pectoral fins around the front of the water Japanese and the young within... Body and fins display a somber variegated pattern featuring obscure dark saddles on back! Jaws protrude forward when capturing prey is speculated that it may mean “ living rock. ” bottom! There have been known to consume smaller conspecifics the more interesting is the shark. Different species ; perhaps the newly described Dwarf spotted wobbegong is the wobbegong shark a...