Chiloscyllium punctatum 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Orectolobiformes Hemiscylliidae

Scientific Name: Chiloscyllium punctatum
Species Authority: Müller & Henle, 1838
Common Name(s):
English Brownbanded Bamboo Shark, Brown-spotted Catshark, Grey Carpet Shark, Spotted Catshark

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Bennett, M.B. & Kyne, P.M. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)
Chiloscyllium punctatum is a widely distributed and probably fecund (oviparous) tropical species occurring in a variety of habitats throughout its range. Within Australia the species is assessed as Least Concern as a portion of its habitat is protected in marine parks and it is not a target species, except perhaps for the aquarium trade. It is an extremely hardy species that would presumably survive as a discard in any trawl bycatch. However, throughout much of the rest of its range, the species is likely to be threatened by overfishing for human consumption, habitat loss due to destructive fishing methods on coral reefs, and collection for the display-aquarium trade. It fails to meet the criteria for Vulnerable due to insufficient data, but is assessed as Near Threatened globally because of concern over the significant impact that these practices must be having on this species in much of its range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Little is know about the populations of this species. Compagno (2001) reports that it was seen in large numbers at a fish market at Samut, near Bangkok, Thailand. Blaber, Brewer and Harris (1994) report the occurrence of the species in a trawl survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, but it was recorded as one of the least abundant species of fish caught. It is encountered reasonably often on the reef flats in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia, and in Moreton Bay, Queensland. It has been seen in groups of up to a dozen individuals at specific locations in Moreton Bay that provide protection/cover in otherwise open environments (M.B. Bennet, pers. obs.). It is not uncommon to catch this species when bottom bait-fishing in Moreton Bay, suggesting that it is present in reasonable numbers.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia); Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia (Jawa, Papua, Sulawesi, Sumatera); Japan; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Found on coral reefs, on sand and sand/mud substrates throughout its range. Probably occurs on soft substrates in deeper water, to at least 85 m. The species is extremely hardy and can tolerate severe environmental hypoxia, a trait that allows it to occupy and survive in environments that undergo cyclical hypoxic conditions (e.g., coral reef flats). Oviparous species. Hatches at 13 to 17 cm total length (TL) and attains a maximum adult size of about 118 cm TL (M. B. Bennet pers. obs.). Males mature at 68 to 76 cm TL, females at about 63 cm TL (Compagno 2001). Small individuals hide in crevices and among coral and are well camouflaged with their broad banding pattern. Feeds on benthic organisms and small fishes. In Moreton Bay the diet comprises crabs, polychaete worms, shrimps and small teleost fishes (M.B. Bennet pers. obs).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: aquarium use

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Widespread collection for human consumption in artisanal and commercial fisheries and habitat damage over much of its range (not Australia) are the major threats to this species. Collection for the aquarium trade is a minor threat, especially as the species is hardy and will breed prolifically in captivity. Inshore seine-netting, trap fishing and bait fishing are probably the primary modes of collection. Damage and destruction of coral reef habitat from dynamite fishing, other destructive fishing practices and pollution are known to be widespread in large parts of its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is protected in a significant proportion of its range on the east coast of Australia in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Moreton Bay Marine Park. While fishing is still allowed in most areas of the parks, the species is not targeted and is likely to survive capture as bycatch.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.1. Marine Neritic - Pelagic
suitability: Unknown  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing    

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing    

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing    

Bibliography [top]

Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. and Harris, A.N. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45: 375-396.

Compagno, L.J.V. 2001. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Vol. 2. Bullhead, mackeral and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). FAO species catalogue for fisheries purposes. No. 1. Vol. 2. FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Citation: Bennett, M.B. & Kyne, P.M. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003). 2003. Chiloscyllium punctatum. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T41872A10581953. . Downloaded on 27 June 2016.
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