Hemiscyllium ocellatum HEMOCE-060196-CREOCE-001

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 1st, 1996 and is filed under Sharks, Spawning Reports.

The Breeder’s Registry© Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations from aquarist unless noted otherwise (see comments). Information may be reproduced providing the Breeder’s Registry is cited.


Breeder ID: HEMOCE-060196-CREOCE-001

Date received: 6/1/96

Identification: Hemiscyllium ocellatum (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Geographic origin: South Pacific, Australia, New Guinea 


Taxonomy:(after I.C.Z.N.)

Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata

Class Chondrichthyes Subclass Elasmobranchii

Superorder Selachimorpha Order Lamniformes (= Orectolobiformes ?) Suborder Lamnoidei

Family Hemiscyllidae

Genus Hemiscyllium

Species ocellatum (Bonnaterre, 1788)


Description: A small tropical species found from Australia to New Guinea. It is considered by some (Paxton & Eschmeyer, 1995) to be one of seven families in the order Orectolobiformes which are generally referred to as Carpet Sharks. They are characterized by a subterminal mouth in front of the eyes, nasal barbels and a groove connecting the mouth to the nostril and spiracles. The are typically nocturnal living on or near the bottom feeding on invertebrates. They have long slender bodies with darker spots on a tan background. There is often a large prominent spot behind the gill slits and above the pectoral fins.


Duration male(yr): 0.66

Size male (cm): 51

Duration female (yr): 5.0

Size female (cm): 91

Physical differences: Male has modified

Adult diet: squid, live goldfish. Weekly

Pre-spawning activity: Increased aggressiveness, culminating in copulation

Time spawning began: daytime

Area spawning occurred: midwater

Frequency of spawning: continuously

Egg description: oblong “leatherlike” case. Yolk is visible

Approximate quantity: 2

Size: ~ 100 mm

Incubation period: unknown. Eggs deteriorated after several weeks

Transfer / removal method: not removed 


Spawning tank size (liter): 900

Sides of tank covered? No

Lighting & photo period: 2 175 watt metal halide, 9 hours

Filtration: wet / dry, ~ 190 lpm

Additives and dosages: none indicated. ASW, various brands. Changed 25% every 6 weeks

Water temperature (F): 78 – 80

Specific gravity: 1.020

pH: 8.0

Nitrate: not indicated


Original description: First described by Bonnaterre in 1788 as Squalus ocellatus, in Tabl. Encyclop. Method. Ichthyol. From a single specimen (holotype) collected in the South Sea. Valid as Hemiscyllium ocellatum by Compagno 1984, and Paxton et al.1989.

Synonym: Scualus oculatus (Banks 1827;[King’s Surv. Australia ]) and (Banks 1838, in Muller & Henle [Plagiostomen])

Vernacular name: Epaulette shark

Word origin: The genus first used by Bonnaterre, Squalus is the Latin word for dogfish. The modern genus Hemiscyllium is from the Greek root(s) hemi meaning one-half; and scyll meaning sea monster or dog. The species ocellatum apears to be from the Latin root ocellus meaning a
little eye.

Suggested reading:

Paxton, John R., & Eschmeyer, William N., Encyclopedia of Fishes, 1995, Academic Press Inc.,
525 B Street, Su1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495, USA ISBN 0-12-547660-4

About this report: Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations. Taxonomy, Synonomy, Original description , Word origin and Suggested reading are provided by member(s) of The Breeder’s Registry staff. Information is presented under the belief that it is accurate. If you have information in addition to, or contrary to that presented you are encouraged to contact the Breeder’s Registry. Permission is granted for “one-time” personal use. Reproduction as distributed or accessible media is prohibited without prior written permission. All rights reserved. 1996

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