Blotchy Swellshark

About the Blotchy Swellshark

The blotched swellshark is a species of deepwater catshark found off the coasts of Japan and Taiwan, at depths of up to 500 m. Like all catsharks, they’re bottom feeders, have elongated cat-like eyes, and two small dorsal fins set far back. They’re mostly nocturnal and often sleep in groups during the day. Their diet consists of bony fishes and bottom-dwelling crustacean and cephalopods.

They’re oviparous, with an average litter size of two. Pups are born about 18 cm long, become mature at 88-90 cm, and grow to a maximum length of 120 cm. Females are known to store sperm, and can produce eggs for years after mating with a male.

Their name comes from their coloration and their ability to inflate their bodies with air or water to appear larger to predators.

There is not enough confirmation to assess their population health. Their conservation status is “Data Deficient.”

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Scientific Name Cephaloscyllium umbratile
OrderGround Sharks - Carcharhiniformes
GenusCephaloscyllium
CitesNot Listed
IUCNData Deficient
ReproductionOviparous
SizeMedium
Litter Size 2
Common Length 120 cm
Max LenghtNA
Depth Range 20-500 m
DistributionNorthwest Pacific, Western Central Pacific
EnvironmentReef-Associated
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