Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 14th, 2008
Known as carpet sharks to most of the rest of the world, two new species of wobbegongs, as they are called in Oz, have been found in Western Australian waters.
WA Department of Fisheries shark researcher Justin Chidlow said there were now eight known wobbegong shark species in Australia.
The new floral banded wobbegong has been spotted between Geraldton and Augusta and the new dwarf spotted wobbegong was found in shark fishery catches between Green Head and Mandurah, Mr Chidlow said.
Wobbegongs, which are often sold in fish shops under the name of carpet shark, are probably the most common shark species seen by divers.
“It’s amazing to think that the new species have been present off our coast, but that it’s only now that they have been formally identified as separate and been added to the list of known wobbegong species,” he said.
“Wobbegongs were not as sleek looking as some of the better-known sharks and the new species helped reinforce the importance of the continental shelf off WA as an area where a large range of wobbegong species could be encountered.”
The colour of the floral banded species is mainly dark brown with yellowish blotches on the upper surface and white on the underbelly, whereas the adult of the dwarf spotted wobbegong was a lighter yellowish brown with large white blotches on top and creamy coloured underneath.
Source: “Two new shark species found,” The Sydney Morning Herald, February 14, 2008.
Photos above are of wobbegongs, but not of the two new species, which are unavailable to date.