Cephaloscyllium speccum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Cephaloscyllium speccum Last, Séret & White, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Speckled Swellshark
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds). 2016. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 31 March 2016. Available at: (Accessed: 31 March 2016).
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-04-23
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Lawson, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.

The Speckled Catshark (Cephaloscyllium speccum) is a poorly-known deepwater Eastern Indian Ocean benthic catshark, with a patchy occurrence in a restricted area off northwest Australia. The few known specimens have been recorded from the outer continental shelf and upper slope at depths of 150–455 m. Nothing is known of its biology. Presently, there is low fishing effort within its distribution. The species’ range and status needs to be better defined, and given the lack of available information and the fact that it is known from only a handful of records, an assessment of Data Deficient is appropriate.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Speckled Swellshark is restricted to a relatively small area off northwest Australia where its occurrence is patchy between Rowley Shoals and Ashmore Reef (Last et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Australia (Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):455
Upper depth limit (metres):150
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This swellshark is rare in museum collections and is most likely rare to uncommon in the wild. Nothing is known of population structure or size.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This deepwater benthic catshark is presently recorded from only a few specimens trawled from the outer continental shelf and upper slope at depths of 150–455 m (Last et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009). Maximum size is at least 69 cm total length (TL), with males mature by 65 cm TL (Last et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009). Nothing else is known of the biology of the species.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Not known to be utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Areas where the few known specimens were collected are subject to minimal fishing effort by the Commonwealth North West Slope Trawl Fishery (Marton and Mazur 2014). Species may be naturally rare, but no major threats are apparent at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no species-specific conservation actions in place. The species will benefit from its occurrence in marine protected areas of the Commonwealth Marine Reserve network.

Citation: Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D. 2016. Cephaloscyllium speccum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42710A68616428. . Downloaded on 19 September 2017.
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