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Necklace Carpet Shark
Threat Level: low
Scientific name...........Parascyllium Variolatum
Common names........Varied carpet shark, southern catshark
The necklace carpet shark is a small shark with unmistakable, highly variable beautiful pattern. It has a long, slender and slightly flattened body, and its long but almost indistinct tail, this shark has an eel-like appearance. Most striking is the broad dark band, or collar, studded with small bright white spots over the gills like a necklace, hence its common name. It is also known as the varied carpetshark. Its spiracles are small, and its nostrils bear short babels ( probably for chemosensory purposes ) and grooves that connect to the mouth. Collared carpet sharks are closely related to nurse sharks and wobbegongs but are often mistaken for cat sharks, which they resemble only superficially. Collared carpet sharks are distinguished by their mouth being located well in front of the eyes. The family has two genera: the Cirrhoscyllium, which have barbels on the throat, and the Parascyllium, which do not.
These are small sharks and do not usually grow any longer than 3 1/3 feet.
The color of the Necklace carpet shark is easily identifiable by its dark grayish to chocolate-brown body scattered with numerous white spots and the large black blotches on the edges of its fins.
Little is known about the carpetshark's diet, but probably feeds on invertebrates and small fishes.
They are nocturnal and often is encountered by divers after dark. During the day it is difficult to spot because it rests either in caves or on the bottom, where it is perfectly camouflaged among the algae.
The necklace carpet shark is found in Southern Australia. ( Eastern and Western forms may be more than one species ). They occur in a variety of habitats on continental shelves, including sand, rocky reefs, kelp and seagrass beds. Juveniles hide under rocks and bottom debris in shallow water.
These sharks are oviparous, laying egg cases with curled tendrils that anchor the cases to the substrate.
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