Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Observed and collected both in the bay and at nearby Selat Iris, a narrow channel between the mainland and Aiduma Island; where there is almost no shallow, fringing reef habitat due to the unique geomorphology. Thus, the typical habitat for this species extends into deeper water (at least 30 m), although it has also been sighted in depths less than 4 m. It is often seen resting on the bottom, occasionally observed slowly swimming or 'walking' over the bottom with the pectoral and pelvic fins. Generally sedentary during the day, sheltering under rocky outcrops or tabular corals (Ref. 74956).
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Distribution

Range Description

Henry’s Epaulette Shark is known only from Papua Barat Province, western New Guinea, Indonesia, in the vicinity of Triton Bay in the southern Bird’s Head region. It has been observed/collected both in the bay and at nearby Selat Iris, a narrow channel between the mainland and Aiduma Island (Allen and Erdmann 2008). This species is likely to be nocturnal but extensive nocturnal surveys of the region have not yet been conducted (G. Allen pers. comm. 2011). Additional investigations may show it has a much more extensive range, probably including the west coast of Bomberai Peninsula as far north as the southern edge of Fakfak Peninsula (G. Allen pers. comm. 2011).
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Papua Barat Province, western New Guinea, Indonesia.
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Western Pacific: Known only from western New Guinea (Papua Barat Province), Indonesia.
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

78.3 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 74956)); 81.5 cm TL (female)
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Diagnostic Description

This species is distinguished by its unique colour pattern, distinctive is the combination of small scattered spots on the head, body and fins including 13-18 spots on the interorbital/dorsal snout region and 6-18 spots on dorsal surface of pectoral fins; a unique 'double-ocellus' marking on middle of side, just behind the head (Ref. 74956).
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Type Information

Paratype for Hemiscyllium henryi Allen & Erdmann
Catalog Number: USNM 390771
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): M. Erdmann
Year Collected: 2007
Locality: Patch reef near centre of Triton Bay, Irian Jaya, Barat Province, Indonesia, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, Pacific
Depth (m): 3 to 5
  • Paratype: Allen, G. R. & Erdmann, M. V. 23 Jan 2008. Aqua: Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology. 13 (3-4): 102, Figs. 2, 6-9, 11.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Unlike other parts of the Bird’s Head Peninsula such as Cenderawasih Bay and the Raja Ampat Islands, the fringing reef habitat in Triton Bay (Papua Barat Province) is found in deeper water extending to 30 m (Allen and Erdmann 2008). The typical habitat for Henry’s Epaulette Shark extends into deeper water than recorded for other Hemiscyllium species (at least 30 m), although it has also been sighted in depths less than 4 m. It is usually seen resting on the bottom, but is occasionally observed slowly swimming or “walking” over the bottom with the pectoral and pelvic fins (Allen and Erdmann 2008). It is likely to be nocturnally active as for other congeners (Compagno 2002) and during the day it is generally sedentary, sheltering under rocky outcrops or tabular corals (Allen and Erdmann 2008). Henry’s Epaulette Shark is possibly the largest species of the genus with a maximum known size of 82 cm total length (Allen and Erdmann 2008). The biology of this species is almost entirely unknown.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 3 - 30 m (Ref. 74956)
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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
2012

Assessor/s
Dudgeon, C.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M. & Harrison, L.

Contributor/s

Justification

Henry’s Epaulette Shark (Hemiscyllium henryi) is a newly (2008) described species, which is known from very few specimens that are highly restricted geographically. The distribution and occurrence of Henry’s Epaulette Shark is not adequately known at this stage and there is insufficient information currently available on any potential threats. Further information is required to assess whether there is any conservation concern. Some threats are suspected (fishing pressure in shallow inshore environments can be significant in eastern Indonesia and includes illegal fishing, dynamite fishing and trawling) and although there may be some refuge in protected and remote areas, details on the level of threats are not available. An overall lack of information means that this species cannot be listed beyond Data Deficient at present. Surveys and research into biology and threatening processes are a priority to accurately assess the status of this species.

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Population

Population

Little is known about the population size of Henry's Epaulette Shark and no scientific data are currently available.


Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Threats due to habitat destruction and pollution at known or suspected locations of occurrence for this species are likely to be minimal. Triton Bay where Henry’s Epaulette Shark has been observed is a marine reserve and the surrounding mountains are too steep for large-scale commercial logging or oil palm plantations. This may limit run-off from land-clearing. Ecotourism is popular in the Papua Barat Province but it is unknown whether there are any threats to the species from these activities.

Other locations where this species may possibly occur (Bomberai and Fakfak Peninsulas) are remote areas with little human activity (G. Allen pers. comm. 2011). However, fishing pressure in shallow inshore environments, including coral reefs where this species is found can be significant in eastern Indonesia, and includes illegal fishing, dynamite fishing and trawling which may affect this species through habitat destruction and capture as bycatch (Kyne and Heupel 2011).
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

There are no current conservation processes in place for Henry's Epaulette Shark. Triton Bay where Henry’s Epaulette Shark has been observed is a marine reserve. This species needs scientific investigation into its biology, ecology, distribution and demography, as well as threats, in order to assess what conservation measures may be needed.

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Wikipedia

Hemiscyllium henryi

Hemiscyllium henryi (Triton epaulette shark or Henry's epaulette shark) is a species of bamboo shark in the family Hemiscylliidae. Together with H. galei, it was only scientifically described in 2008.[1][2] At present, H. henryi is only known from depths of 3 to 30 metres (9.8 to 98.4 ft) at reefs near Triton Bay on the southern coast of West Papua, Indonesia.[1] It reaches a length of 81.5 centimetres (32.1 in), and is covered in numerous fine black spots. It has large, "double" spot on the side behind the pectoral fins.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Allen & Erdmann (2008). "Two new species of bamboo sharks (Orectolobiformes: Hemiscylliidae) from Western New Guinea". Aqua (Miradolo Terme) 13 (3-4): 93–108. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2010). "Hemiscyllium henryi" in FishBase. May 2010 version.
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