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Whitespotted Bamboo Shark

  • Order: Orectolobiformes
  • Family: Hemiscylliidae
  • Genus: Chiloscylliumm
  • Species: plagiosum
Fun Fact

Sharks do not have a swim bladder, instead they produce a substance called squalene. Squalene is an oil that gives the shark buoyancy and is produced by their liver.

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    About Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks

    Whitespotted bamboo sharks are small sharks, growing to an average of 19 inches. These sharks are brown, with darker brown bands and white and black spots. They spend most of their time on the bottom of the sea floor in search of food. They have two sensory barbels that aid in food detection. They will use their flexible and muscular pectoral fins to crawl along the bottom in search of food.

    These species reproduce through eggs, with mating season occurring in December and January. The eggs are typically laid in March through May. Female whitespotted bamboo sharks living in aquariums without the presence of a male shark for more than two years have been known to lay viable eggs. Theories as to how this occurs range from sperm storage to a process called parthenogenesis, a process where eggs develop without fertilization.

    Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks in the Wild


    These sharks are bottom dwelling and are found among tropical reefs and tidal pools. They have a depth range from 0-85 meters.


    They are native to Indo-Pacific regions including China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. They are also found around the island of Madagascar.


    Whitespotted bamboo sharks are nocturnal predators feeding primarily on small fish and invertebrates. Their method of consumption is very unique, the shark has small teeth that can be used to grasp or crush prey, but new research shows that the teeth will also fold backward within the mouth. This allows the shark to protect the teeth, as well as, to use the flat surface of the teeth to crush crabs and other crustaceans.

    Population Status

    Listed on IUCN's Red List as “near threatened.” It is used as food by humans in all the countries of its range. Habitat degradation of the coral reefs also pose a threat to this population, however, lack of catch and aquarium trade information keeps this species from receiving a higher threat listing.

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