The spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) belongs to the Orectolobidae family, and is found in the eastern Indian Ocean around Australia; it is possibly endemic to this region. A relatively large shark (reaching lengths of up to 3m/9.8 ft), other common names are "carpet shark," "common carpet shark," "common catshark," "tassel shark," or just "wobbegong."
This wobbegong can be distinguished by its unique pattern of dark saddle-like markings on their dorsal side on top of a golden-brown colour. On top of these are white rings scattered about.
The genus name Orectolobus is Greek from orectos (stretched out) and lobos (a rounded projection). The species name maculatus is Latin from macula (spot), most likely referencing the patterns on the shark's body. The word 'wobbegong' itself is an Australian aboriginal word.
Spotted Wobbegongs are found in the shallow, coastal waters of Australia down to about 100 m. These sharks are famous for their lie-in-wait hunting strategy, known to swallow smaller prey whole. Feeding primarily takes place at night, and food menu items include fish, crayfish, crustaceans and even cephalopods.
It is likely that, like other wobbegongs, they are ovoviviparous. The IUCN has classified these animals as Least Concern (LC).
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