Orectolobus japonicus Regan, 1906
Japanese wobbegong
Orectolobus japonicus
photo by Murch, A.

Family:  Orectolobidae (Carpet or nurse sharks)
Max. size:  118 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; marine; depth range 0 - 200 m
Distribution:  Western Pacific: Japan and Korea to Viet Nam.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. Five to six dermal flaps below and in front of eyes; back with light areas between dark saddles marked with broad reticulated dark lines (Ref. 13577). Caudal fin with its upper lobe hardly elevated above the body axis, with a strong terminal lobe and subterminal notch but no ventral lobe (Ref. 13577).
Biology:  A little-known bottom shark found inshore (Ref. 247); usually in sand or sandy mud bottoms (Ref. 11230); also on rocky and coral reefs (Ref. 43278). Nocturnal in habits (Ref. 247). Feeds on fish and presumably bottom invertebrates (Ref. 247), including lizardfishes, cutlassfish, horse mackerel and other jacks, goatfishes, groupers, tilefishes, sea robins, whiting, parrotfishes, sea bream, croakers, also skates, shark egg cases, cephalopods, and shrimp (Ref. 43278). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 43278, 50449), with up to 20 young in a litter (Ref. 247). Wobbegongs should be regarded as potentially dangerous because of its formidable dentition (Ref. 247, 13577). Used for human consumption (Ref. 247). Kept in aquaria in Japan and the United States (Ref. 43278).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 06 May 2020 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:   

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: OrtaƱez, Auda Kareen - 26.04.16
Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 16.03.94

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