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Triton Bay or Henry's Epaulette Shark
Shark Picture Database
Names: Triton Bay Epaulette Shark,
Triton walking shark, Henry's epaulette shark.
Hemiscylliidae - longtailed carpetsharks
or bamboo sharks.
cylindrical, eel-like body. Well developed pectoral and pelvic fins on
fore-body. Two dorsal fins on rear-body. Tail long. Upper and lower caudal lobes on underside. Sub-terminal notch present.
Similar in appearance to the common epaulette shark H. ocellatum but with
a unique B shaped, double ocellus (eye-spot) just behind the gill area.
Overall body light brown-tan with scattered small dark spots. Some spot groupings form leopard-like markings
especially in more mature animals. Darker patches along
upper back with concentrations of dark spots, form 11-12 subtly darker saddles
and bands along body and tail.
at least 78cm.
Sandy bays and coral reefs. From 3 to 30m.
Endemic to Triton Bay, Indonesia. Apparently restricted to the channel between
and mainland West Papua but further surveys may show that Henrys epaulette shark
has a broader range in southern West Papua.
by day under corals
venturing out at sunset to feed.
Swims or walks along on its flexible pectoral and pelvic fins. Wriggles through
gaps in coral in search of prey or to seek protection.
Oviparous. Biology poorly known.
A recently described species (2008), the Triton Bay epaulette shark is listed as
by the IUCN.
is a protected area with little industry and a limited local fishery. However,
this shark's limited range implies that it would be extremely susceptible to
depletion if it were targeted for food or collected for the aquarium trade.
Triton Bay Diver's
Aiduma Island, West Papua.
The Triton Bay epaulette shark is the only epaulette shark known to
inhabit Papua Barat Province but if it proves to be more widespread than
currently known, it may overlap with other species that inhabit southern PNG and
Raja Ampat such as the
Indonesian Speckled Carpetshark;
distinguished by its rounder ocellum with a crescent or dumbell shaped adjacent
Reaction to divers: Usually seen at night.
May bolt when caught in a diver'
or remain motionless relying on camouflage.
logistics: Although the region is seasonally visited by a handful of
liveaboards, the best way to encounter this species is to book a trip with
Triton Bay Divers. This species can be found at night on their house reef in
Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann,
2008. Two new species of bamboo sharks (Orectolobiformes: hemiscylliidae)
from Western New Guinea. Aqua Int. J. Ichthyol. 13(3-4):93-108. (Ref. 74956)