Brownbanded bamboo sharks can also be called Grey Carpet Sharks. They can be found in the Indo-West Pacific from Japan to northern Australia at 85 m underwater around coral reefs and tide pools.
Biology and Behaviour
Brownbanded bamboo sharks can grow up to one metre. Young brownbanded bamboos have a distinct barred dark and pale bands and as they grow, the bands start to fade. Adults are brownish in colour with faint bands.
They are nocturnal bottom dwelling sharks and can survive out of the water for no longer than 12 hours. They have barbels which are sensory organs that look like whiskers.
They can be seen in groups of up to a dozen individuals at specific location to provide protection in open environments. They can be found in a variety of habitats such as nearshore intertidal and subtotal habitats, over sandy and muddy substrates, seagrass beds rocky and coral reefs.
Small Brownbanded bamboo sharks will hide in crevices among corals and are well camouflaged with their broad banding pattern.
Brownbanded bamboo sharks feed on shrimp, scallop, squid and small fish.
Reproduction and Tourism
Similar to other bamboo sharks, Brownbanded bamboos are oviparous. The ones that are in aquariums lay a large number of eggs. For instance, in an aquarium in Thailand one year, three females laid 466 eggs and in another aquarium in Australia, 692 eggs were laid from six females.
Pups are between 13 to 18 cm long at birth, and males mature between 68 to 76 cm long while females mature at 63 cm. They are known to reach at least 16 years of age.
Conservation and Tourism
The IUCN lists Brownbanded bamboo sharks as near threatened.
Brownbanded bamboo sharks are protected in a significant proportion of its Australian range on the east coast of Australia in the Great Barrier Reed Marine Park and the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Even though rising is not allots in most areas of the parks, the species is not targeted and is likely to survive capture as by catch because of its hardiness.
The major threats to Brownbanded bamboo sharks are the habitat deterioration, pollution and hunting for human consumption and aquarium trade. They are regularly bred in aquariums.
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