The coral catshark (Atelomycterus marmoratus) is a small, slender shark with cat-like eyes and, like most catsharks, they are uniquely and mottled-marked with white underbellies. These catsharks sport dark and light spots on a dark background. They have two dorsal fins that lack spines, and their tail lacks a strong lower lobe.
Their favourite prey are invertebrates and small fishes. Not much else is known about their biology, diet, growth or reproductive methods. Egg cases have been spotted: they are brown, long and rectangular, with tendrils to keep it anchored to whatever their momma shark decides is suitable.
Although tiny in size (they only get up to 0.70 m/2.3 ft), their range is rather large, found anywhere from the tropics in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They’re commonly seen off Pakistan, India to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papau New Guinea, southern China and Japan. There have been some spotted off Australia, but these catsharks are thought to be another species altogether.
And, as the name can give away, they do frequent coral reefs (probably hiding in nooks and crannies amongst the coral). This hiding doesn’t stop them from being accidentally caught as bycatch in fisheries, though, and increased fishing pressure is probably not doing them any favors. Due to little to no population data being present, they are classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.
ever heard of this catshark?
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