Eucrossorhinus dasypogon 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Orectolobiformes Orectolobidae

Scientific Name: Eucrossorhinus dasypogon
Species Authority: (Bleeker, 1867)
Common Name(s):
English Tasselled Wobbegong

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-02-18
Assessor(s): Huveneers, C. & Pillans, R.D.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M., Walls, R.H.L., Simpfendorfer, C. & Chin, A.
The Tasselled Wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon) is a little known but relatively common, medium-sized (up to about 125 cm total length) species with a wide distribution across northern Australia and New Guinea. It is associated with coral reefs inshore to 50 m depth. In Australia, there are no target fisheries for this wobbegong and it is unlikely to be frequently caught incidentally in commercial shark or trawl fisheries due to trawling not taking place in its preferred reef habitat. Part of its range is protected in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Around New Guinea, this species might be affected by coral reef habitat destruction (pollution and dynamite fishing). This wobbegong is assessed as Least Concern due to a lack of significant threats likely to result in declining population. Monitoring in New Guinea is recommended to ensure that the population is not declining due to ongoing habitat destruction or overexploitation.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Tasselled Wobbegong is found inshore and on coral reefs in New Guinea and northern Australia from Ningaloo Reef (Western Australia) to Bundaberg (Queensland) (Last and Stevens 2009). Previous distribution maps showing the species to occur in northern Indonesia are likely to be erroneous (Last and Stevens 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia); Indonesia (Papua); Papua New Guinea
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 50
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Tasselled Wobbegong is commonly encountered on the Great Barrier Reef (Last and Stevens 2009). Nothing is known of its population size or structure.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species is commonly seen on coral heads and in reef channels and faces (Compagno 2001), in shallow areas of the continental shelf and offshore reefs, to about 50 m depth (Last and Stevens 2009). Primarily nocturnal and individuals are thought to have a small home range (Compagno 2001). Males are mature at 117 cm total length (TL), with a maximum recorded size of 125 cm TL (a record of a 366 cm TL specimen is probably erroneous), and size at birth of 20 cm TL (Last and Stevens 2009). Little is known about the biology of this species, but it is thought to be lecithotrophic viviparous based on the known reproductive mode of other orectolobid species (Huveneers et al. 2007, 2011).

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

In Australia, wobbegong (family Orectolobidae) flesh is sold locally for human consumption through ‘fish and chip’ and fresh fish retail outlets. Most commercially landed wobbegong catch however, is comprised of larger species. Due to their low commercial value, smaller individuals are usually released alive. Wobbegong fins have no known commercial value. Historically, the attractive skin has been used as decorative leather (Last and Stevens 2009). However, it is unknown if this practice is still occurring. 

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Threats within Australia are likely to be minimal, as the species is not commercially or recreationally targeted and is rarely caught as bycatch. It has refuge outside of trawled areas due to its association with coral reefs. The Tasselled Wobbegong was observed in the bycatch survey of the Pilbara Trawl Fishery (Department of Fisheries WA 2010), but catch rate was not reported and is likely to be low due to trawling not taking place in its preferred reef habitat. The species has not been reported in the Coral Reef Line Fishery or the East Coast Inshore Fish Fishery. It is an occasional bycatch in the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery (Kyne 2008).  

The number of wobbegongs caught by recreational fishing from boat licence holders in Western Australia during 2011-12 was estimated at 1,535 animals, with 20% retained (304) and 5% caught from the North Coast region (Ryan et al. 2013), resulting in ~15 wobbegongs caught annually within the distribution of the Tasselled Wobbegong (where several wobbegong species occur)

Outside of Australian waters, wobbegong species are not targeted, but could potentially be caught in the Gulf of Papua prawn trawl fishery, particularly if trawling occurs near coral reefs (L. Baje, pers. comm., February 2015). The Tasselled Wobbegong might also be threatened locally by habitat destruction from dynamite fishing, especially in Biak, West Papua.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are currently no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. However, site attached species such as wobbegongs may also benefit from habitat protection and suitably designed and implemented no-take zones, where all forms of harvesting or fishing are excluded (Huveneers et al. 2006, Lee 2014). In Australia, the Tasselled Wobbegong benefits from occurring in the no-take zones within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. All sharks and rays are commercially protected under Western Australian law. This regulation essentially restricts the retention of all shark and ray products by commercial fishing vessels other than those operating in the State's managed shark fishery.

Citation: Huveneers, C. & Pillans, R.D. 2015. Eucrossorhinus dasypogon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T41873A68623121. . Downloaded on 24 November 2015.
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