Cephaloscyllium speccum 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Cephaloscyllium speccum
Species Authority: Last, Séret & White, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Speckled Swellshark
Taxonomic Notes:

The Speckled Swellshark (Cephaloscyllium speccum) was described by Last et al. (2008) and was previously referred to in part as Cephaloscyllium sp. E in Last and Stevens (1994). In that volume, this species was thought to also occur off northeastern Australia, but that form has since been described as Cephaloscyllium signourum Last, Séret & White, 2008. As such, C. speccum is restricted to the Eastern Indian Ocean in a relatively small area off northwestern Australia.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-01-20
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D.
Reviewer(s): Carlson, J. & Dulvy, N.

The Speckled Catshark (Cephaloscyllium speccum) is a poorly known deepwater Eastern Indian Ocean benthic catshark, with a patchy occurrence in a restricted area off northwestern Australia. The few known specimens of this species 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 in its area of occurrence. The species’ distribution and status needs to be better defined, and given the lack of available information, an assessment of Data Deficient is appropriate.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Data Deficient (DD)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Speckled Swellshark is restricted to a relatively small area off northwestern 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
Lower depth limit (metres): 455
Upper depth limit (metres): 150
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The Speckled Swellshark is rare in museum collections and is most likely rare to uncommon in the wild.

Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The Speckled Swellshark, a deepwater benthic catshark, is presently recorded from only a few specimens trawled on 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 64 cm TL (Last et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009). Nothing else is known of the biology of the species.

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no use or trade of the Speckled Swellshark.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Areas where the few known specimens of the Speckled Catshark were collected receive little fishing effort. Species may be naturally rare, but no threats are apparent at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no conservation actions in place for the Speckled Swellshark. The distribution and status needs to be better defined.

Citation: Kyne, P.M. & Cavanagh, R.D. 2011. Cephaloscyllium speccum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T42710A10746252. . Downloaded on 26 May 2016.
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