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Overview

Comprehensive Description

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).
  • 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)
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Distribution

Range Description

Northwest Pacific: off Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan (Province of China), and Viet Nam (Compagno 2001). Records of this species from the Philippines possibly refer to another, undescribed species of wobbegong and require verification (Compagno et al. 2005).
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Western Pacific: Japan and Korea to Viet Nam and the Philippines.
  • Compagno, L.J.V. and V.H. Niem 1998 Orectolobidae. Wobbegongs. p. 1245-1248. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO identification guide for fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 13577)
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Northwestern and western Pacific: China, Korea, Taiwan, Philipines and Vietnam.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 0
  • Compagno, L.J.V. and V.H. Niem 1998 Orectolobidae. Wobbegongs. p. 1245-1248. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO identification guide for fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 13577)
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Size

Maximum size: 1000 mm TL
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Max. size

100.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 13577))
  • Compagno, L.J.V. and V.H. Niem 1998 Orectolobidae. Wobbegongs. p. 1245-1248. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO identification guide for fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 13577)
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Diagnostic Description

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).
  • Compagno, L.J.V. and V.H. Niem 1998 Orectolobidae. Wobbegongs. p. 1245-1248. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO identification guide for fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 13577)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A temperate to tropical inshore shark, found on rocky bottoms and coral reefs at depths of 1-200 m (L.J.V. Compagno pers. comm. 2007). A nocturnal shark which measures 21-23 cm when born and grows to a maximum total length (TL) of more than 107 cm (Compagno 2001). Females reach maturity at 101-107 cm TL and males at ~103 cm TL. Reproduction is ovoviviparous, with litters of up to 20-27 young after a gestation period of ~12 months (Captive records) (Compagno 2001).

Systems
  • Marine
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A little-known temperate to tropical inshore bottom shark, found on rocky and coral reefs.
  • Compagno, L.J.V. (2001). Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Volume 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 1, Vol. 2. Rome, FAO. 269p.
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Environment

demersal; marine
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Trophic Strategy

A little-known bottom shark found inshore. Nocturnal in habits. Feeds on fish, and presumably bottom invertebrates (Ref. 247). Inhabits rocky areas and coral reefs (Ref. 9137). A carnivor (Ref. 9137).
  • 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)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Ovoviviparous, embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). With up to 20 young in a litter (Ref. 247).
  • Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p. (Ref. 205)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Tanaka, S., Nakaya, K., Wang, Y & Alava, M.

Reviewer/s
Stevens, J., Valenti, S.V. & Pollard, D. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
This poorly known wobbegong is found in the northwest Pacific off Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan (Province of China), and Viet Nam, at depths of 1-200 m. Its preferred habitats are tropical inshore rocky and coral reef areas. The Japanese Wobbegong (Orectolobus japonicus) is caught in bottom set gillnets in Japan and used for human consumption. It may also be taken in China, Taiwan (Province of China), Korea and Viet Nam, but no data are currently available to determine catch levels or population trends. Despite these threats, insufficient information is currently available to assess this species beyond Data Deficient. Its distribution in areas historically and presently exploited by trawl fisheries is of concern, particularly as declines have been observed in other wobbegong species where they are heavily fished. Further investigation into threats, population numbers, catch levels and its life-history is required.
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Population

Population
Nothing is known about the population of this species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Caught in bottom set gillnets in Japan and used for human consumption; also taken in China, Taiwan (Province of China), Korea and Vietnam (Compagno 2001).
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Data deficient (DD)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None in place. Further investigation is required into threats to this species, population numbers, catch levels and its life-history.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; price category: unknown; price reliability:
  • 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)
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 2001 Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Vol. 2. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO Spec. Cat. Fish. Purp. 1(2):269p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 43278)
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Wikipedia

Japanese wobbegong

The Japanese wobbegong, Orectolobus japonicus, is a carpet shark in the family Orectolobidae of the wobbegong family, found in the tropical western Pacific Ocean from Japan and Korea to Viet Nam and the Philippines, between latitudes 43 and 6°N. It reaches a length of 1 m.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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