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Carpet Sharks, Carpetsharks, Wobbegongs

Compiler and date details

23 May 2011 - Douglass F. Hoese, Jennifer E. Gates & Dianne J. Bray


The Orectolobidae comprise a small group of bottom-dwelling sharks. Currently, three genera and 11 species are known (Compagno et al. 2005; Last & Stevens 2009). All three genera, and ten species are known from Australia.

Wobbegongs as recognised here are restricted to the western Pacific, from Japan to Australia in tropical and temperate seas, from coral reefs or on the continental shelf to depths of about 180 m. All species have barbels before the mouth and some have tentacular structures on other parts of the body. Some are oviparous, producing oval egg cases, some retain the egg cases until hatching and others are ovoviviparous. They feed on a variety of fishes and invertebrates, and as adults range in size from 60 cm to 3 m.

Early reviews include Regan (1908) and Ogilby & McCulloch (1908). Compagno (1973, 1984, 2001) split the Orectolobidae into six families (Brachaeluridae, Ginglymostomatidae, Hemiscylliidae, Orectolobidae, Parascylliidae and Stegostomatidae). Compagno (1984) and Last & Stevens (1994, 2009) treated all Australian species; Bass et al. (1975) treated the South African species. Relationships were treated by Goto (2001). Corrigan & Beheregaray (2009) suggested a different classification based on molecular work.


General References

Bass, A.J., D'Aubrey, J.D. & Kistnasamy, N. 1975. Sharks of the east coast of southern Africa. Part 4. The families Odontaspididae, Scapanorhynchidae, Isuridae, Cetorhinidae, Alopiidae, Orectolobidae and Rhiniodontidae. Investigational Report. Oceanographical Research Institute, Durban 39: 1-102 figs 1-24 pls 1-15

Compagno, L.J.V. 1973. Interrelationships of living elasmobranchs. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 53(suppl. 1): 15-61 pls 1-2

Compagno, L.J.V. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 4(1) pp. 1-249.

Compagno, L.J.V. 2001. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Bullhead, mackerel and carpet sharks (Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes and Orectolobiformes). Rome : FAO, FAO Species Catalogue for Fisheries Purposes No. 1 Vol. 2 269 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V., Dando, M. & Fowler, S. 2005. A Field Guide to the Sharks of the World. London : Collins 368 pp.

Corrigan, S. & Beheregaray, L.B. 2009. A recent shark radiation: molecular phylogeny, biogeography and speciation of wobbegong sharks (family: Orectolobidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52: 205-216

Goto, T. 2001. Comparative anatomy, phylogeny and cladistic classification of the order Orectolobiformes (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchi). Memoirs of the Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University 48(1): 1-100

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. [125]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. [132]

Ogilby, J.D. & McCulloch, A.R. 1908. A revision of the Australian Orectolobidae. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 42: 264-299 fig. 1 pls 42-43

Regan, C.T. 1908. A revision of the sharks of the family Orectolobidae. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1908: 347-364 figs 11-13


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Apr-2012 16-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)