Photographs copyright of Andy
Murch all rights reserved.
View all available
Japanese Wobbegong Shark Pictures
Shark Pictures Database
Dorsum light brown with many small pale spots. 9 prominent, irregular, dark
brown saddles from snout to tip of tail. Saddles corugated and pale edged. Nasal barbells
long with fleshy bases. Five groups of dermal lobes (skin flaps) on each side of
Inner group attached to barbells,
second group thin and small, third group long and weakly branched, fourth and
fifth groups short and wide.
Maximum TL at least 118cm. Birth size approx
Males mature at around 103cm. Females mature between 100-107cm.
on rocky and coral reefs from intertidal to 200m.
The Japanese wobbegong can be found around the coastlines of
Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Remains motionless during the day usually hidden under ledges. Forages for benthic fishes.
Also known to eat skates, shark eggcases, cephalopods and shrimp.
One year gestation. 20-27 pups per litter.
Conservation Status: Listed as DATA DEFICIENT by
the IUCN. The Japanese Wobbegong (Orectolobus japonicus) is caught in bottom set
gillnets in Japan and used for human consumption. It may also be taken in China,
Taiwan (Province of China), Korea and Viet Nam, but no data are currently
available to determine catch levels or population trends. Despite these threats,
insufficient information is currently available to assess this species beyond
Data Deficient. Its distribution in areas historically and presently exploited
by trawl fisheries is of concern, particularly as declines have been observed in
other wobbegong species where they are heavily fished. Further investigation
into threats, population numbers, catch levels and its life-history is required.
Mikomoto Island, Izu Peninsula,
There are at least 12 species of wobbegongs. Most can be distinguished by
barbell configuration and markings. The Japanese wobbegong is best identified by
geographic range as it is the only orectolobid shark occurring in the orient.
Reaction to divers:
Remains motionless relying on camouflage unless closely
logistics: This wobbegong can be
found at Mikomoto Island at the southern end of the Izu Peninsula on Honshu
Island. The largest aggregations are there during the warmer summer months but
you can also find a few in October when the scalloped hammerhead schools are
Independent travel and diving arrangements can be difficult for
non-Japanese speakers but Big Fish Expeditions runs a yearly
Japanese Shark Safari that
includes diving with the schooling hammerheads and wobbegongs as well as many
Tanaka, S., Nakaya, K., Wang, Y & Alava, M. 2009. Orectolobus japonicus. The
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161563A5452171. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009-2.RLTS.T161563A5452171.en.
Downloaded on 27 November 2017.