Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Orectolobiformes
(Carpet sharks) > Stegostomatidae
Etymology: Stegostoma: Greek, stego = cover + Greek, stoma = mouth (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 90 m (Ref. 106604), usually 5 - 30 m (Ref. 1602). Tropical; 26°C - 29°C (Ref. 4959); 41°N - 30°S, 32°E - 169°W
Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to New Caledonia and Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales, Australia. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797). Also from Persian Gulf (Ref. 247).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 170 - ? cm
Max length : 354 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 58048)
soft rays: 0. Head with 5 small gill slits, the last three behind pectoral fin origin; nostril close to front of snout, with short barbels and nasoral grooves connecting them with the mouth (Ref. 4832).Very long caudal fin, almost as long as the rest of the body, with a deep subterminal notch but with the lower lobe hardly developed (Ref.13575, 6871). Yellow-brown with dark brown spots (Ref. 391), young black with yellow bars (Ref. 5578). Adults with longitudinal skin ridges which are lacking in young (Ref. 391). Juveniles smaller than about 70 cm, markedly different; dark with white bars and spots; pale ventrally (Ref. 6781). Pectoral fins large and broadly rounded (Ref. 6871).
A tropical inshore shark found on sand, rubble, or coral bottoms of the continental and insular shelves (Ref. 247). Recorded to have entered freshwater (Ref. 4735). Rather sluggish at least during the day (Ref. 247). Probably nocturnal, feeds mainly on mollusks, but also small bony fishes (Ref. 9993). Also known to eat crustaceans (crabs and shrimps) and sea snakes (Ref. 43278). Oviparous (Ref. 43278, 50449). Slow-swimming and able to squirm into narrow cracks, crevices and channel in reefs while searching for food (Ref. 247). Readily kept in captivity (Ref. 247). May bite when provoked (Ref. 247). Utilized fresh and dried-salted for human consumption and also for fishmeal; livers processed for vitamins; fins dried for the oriental sharkfin trade; offal utilized for fishmeal (Ref. 247). Possibly reaching 354 cm TL (Ref. 9993, 47613). Caught in drift net intended for sharks (Ref. 47736). Reported from freshwater in the Philippines but needs to be confirmed (Ref. 43278).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous (Ref. 247). Egg cases are large, dark brown or purplish black, with longitudinal striations (Ref. 6871). Size at birth 20-26 cm TL (Ref. 9993).
Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome, FAO. (Ref. 247)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.2 - 28.8, mean 27.6 °C (based on 956 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.1 ±0.4 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (77 of 100) .