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Sharks and Rays in Aquariums
Gaining an understanding of how to keep these fishes in captive saltwater systems   

New Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Need help with shark ID.    3/28/12
Dear Crew @ Wet Web Media.
Several months ago 6 shark pups were important <imported> into North America as Brachaelurus waddi (blind sharks).  Four went to Canada and I was able to acquire the remaining pair.  The reason for my email; these pups better fit the description for Heteroscyllium colcloughi when comparing the barbels location and posterior flaps, distance from anal fins to caudal fin, coloration, markings and dorsal fin sizes.  Leonard Compagno has written that fewer than 20 specimens of Heteroscyllium colcloughi (blue gray carpet shark) have been identified / examined.
<Yes... both fishes reported  from E., N.E. Australia...>
I would really appreciate any input that you may have.
jpg <http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt289/alprazo/IMAG0360.jpg>
Yardley, PA
<This fish looks like a juvenile Brachaelurus waddi to me. Read the descriptions posed on wiki for both species:
Bob Fenner>

Wobbegong species ID 6/19/10
Hi Bob and rest of the Crew,
<Como que va Wilberth?>
Could someone tell me accurately which species of Wobbegong is this?
<Think this is Orectolobus maculatus... gets to be very large>
It was sold as "Ward´s" but looks to me more like an Orectolobus maculatus, thanks for your help...
Regards from Mexico City

Re: Wobbegong species ID 6/21/10
Hola Bob,
<Quetal Wil?>
Thanks for your answer, doing some more research on the internet and some shark books I have, I've seen more resemblance to the Orectolobus ornatus
<It may be...>
and even Orectolobus Japonicus but then I found this wobby sp called "dwarf ornate Wobbegong" and looks a lot like mine, anyway I have no conclusion and still a bit confused...
<A good way to be in my estimation>
Gracias como siempre Bob
<De nada hombre>
<Y tu, RobertoF>

It's Just a Catfish! Not... 3/22/10
Hi Bob & Crew,
Any truth to this?
<No, it's a Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus. The white spots and the longitudinal furrows on the back are very distinctive. There are some gigantic catfish in Asia, including at last one Pangasius species that (unknown to anyone until recently) spends part of its life cycle at sea. But this isn't one of them! I'm not sure if Whale Sharks are cannibalistic; to the best of my knowledge, and Bob may know better, they feed exclusively on zooplankton, squid and small schooling fish. In other words, much like the baleen whales they are so clearly convergent with. Cheers, Neale.>
>>It's Just a Catfish! Yeah, sure!!
>>For all those crazy guys who go 'noodling' for catfish and stick their arms down the fish's throat!! This would be 'all the catfish you can eat',
>>Each year, a few people were drowning or disappearing mysteriously in Huadu's Furong (China) Reservoir. It was not until recently, when the son of a government official went swimming, in the reservoir and was drowned, that the secret was revealed.
>>It is a 3 meter (9.8ft) long man-eating catfish whose head alone is 1 meter (3.3ft) wide!
>>After cutting up the catfish, people were surprised to find the remains of another man inside!
>>Swimming in the reservoir is now forbidden because it is feared another similar man-eating catfish is still lurking in the waters.
>>It's Just a Catfish!

Re: It's Just a Catfish! 3/22/10
Didn't think so. Thanks Neale.
<Most welcome! Cheers, Neale.>

Palau Perhentian sharks 6/28/09
Hi Bob,
No I'm not going to try and keep one! But I was wondering if you knew what the white-tipped sharks were that I often encounter snorkeling / diving in the shallow reefs just off shore from Palau Perhentian, a
bit north of Redang. They look like very much like grey reef sharks (C. amblyrhynchos ) but with white-tipped fins. They're definitely not C. triaenodon, which was my first thought - too big/bulky. One of the
locals claimed that they're juvenile C. longimanus.
<Mmm, when I put your subject/title in Google, it mainly brings up Chiloscyllium griseum>
I bought that for a while, but now that I've become more curious, that seems unlikely too. The size is right >6ft but their fins are pointed rather than rounded. So, now I'm thinking that maybe they're C. albimarginatus, but what seen I've of their range doesn't include Malaysia, though the Philippines are included, and "data deficient" doesn't tell me much.
Just curious as to who it is that comes to check me out as I hang helpless in the water.
<Do you have a pic? BobF>

Re: Palau Perhentian sharks 6/28/09
Huh, nothing like C. griseum. I guess you haven't seem 'em down at Redang. They're definitely Carcharhinidae -
<Mmm, did see what I believe to be a resident group of C. melanopterus... this is the likely animal>
classic requiem - and only meters off the shore from the Perhentian Island Resort. But honestly I'm more afraid of these smallish damsel-looking fish out there. You have to snorkel over their sandy nests to get out to the rocks.
<Heeeee! I agree with you... much more aggressive, given to biting>
I've never seen a more wantonly aggressive fish. Oh, they're cute, until you're gasping at the surface, holding your bloody leg, wondering what just happened.
Definitely worth a trip to see, but don't stay at the "Resort". It's a dump. Ask or Aziz at Mama's Place, just down the beach. Go during baby turtle season - Aziz runs an admirable little rescue operation from
the beach, most of the other locals just eat the eggs. Mmmm, leatherback on toast.
Thanks anyway.
D. taylorinius
<Thanks much for sharing. Bobbus Bieramicus>

Australian scuba trip -- 04/19/08Hey Bob! I wanted to know if you could identify the fish in the background as being a native of OZ as I think this may be another case of hoaxing that could be dispelled by someone with field and identity experience. <Heee! Have seen this PS pic... Carcharhinus carcharodon...> BTW..........we are having a Cinco de Mayo party at our house on the Saturday the 3rd. Please feel free to make a reservation and stay at the Hotel Zunich. Cheers, john <Will chat w/ Di re. Cheers! BobF>

What kind of shark is this? 3/14/08 I have never seen anything like this in a tank before--any idea what kind of shark it is? If you want to see it in motion, that's at the very beginning of the clip here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=1IA0X70UD4o&feature=related-- Michael Malice <Is a brown dogfish, smoothhound... Likely Mustelus henlei... see here: http://fishbase.org/search.php Bob Fenner>

Happy new year! Shark ID, UW photography, dive adventures Hey dogfish, <Chris> hope the holidays treated you well and that it was a safe holiday season. things were enjoyable out east. moist sushi did some diving over in the red sea while she was over that way for business. sounds pretty nice. couple things.... 1. can you ID the shark in this picture? I'm guessing it washed up on the beach but I don't know for sure. It's a beach on the Outer Banks, NC. My friends who found it, said it was about 12' in length. They thought it was a great white but I'm not the expert that you are. <Is almost certainly a Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus> 2. I'm looking for a second strobe for my camera rig. what kind of Inon strobe did I borrow from you? <An older model... don't think they produce it anymore... I would look for a recent in-production one... on sale!> 3. Meghan may have a business trip out to HI in Feb/March. Not sure what island her business on and I don't recall which island your place is on. It would be fun to catch up out there if schedules work out. I've a got a friend out there that works in the dive industry and keeps telling me about the night dives with the mantas. sounds really cool!<Please have her email or call me there (808 331 XXXX)... I'll be out that way till 2/19... on the Big Island> 4. scuba cruise 08. I have several ideas.- found another live aboard company. cost a bit more than black beards but the ship is 106'; they have cabins vs. racks; and max pax load is 18. hot showers on the dive deck and nitrox. my thinking is to see how many folks are interested and then decided whether a live aboard will work or to do a land based trip. Bonaire keeps popping into my head since they seem to avoid most of the 'canes. I know you are not on the scuba cruise yahoo group, so I wanted to let you know and also hear your opinion. happy new year and happy diving! Pulls <You as well my friend. Do you have interest in hauling out to the Far East with us/groups in 08? If so, I'll email you the particulars... Cheers, Bob/DF>

Re: mystery shark 1/8/08 Hi Bob, > > FWIW, you're spot on about that carcass being a basking shark. The gill slits going almost all the way round to the top of the 'neck' is the give away. Very cool creature, and a lucky find. Cheers, Neale <Must've shocked some folks when found washed up on shore! BobF>

Re: mystery shark 1/8/08 Hi Robert, <Neale> Basking sharks are (apparently) quite common along the west coast of the UK at certain times of the year (never seen them myself). There used to be a major fishery for them at the Isle of Man. There was always a mystery over why you only saw them at certain times of the year. When I was at university, we were told they hibernated in the winter time, shedding their gill rakers. <? Strange... thought these were constantly regrown, functioned as strainers...> According to the Basking Shark Trust, recent studies say they feed on deep water plankton. So I learned something new today, thanks to that photo! http://www.baskingsharks.org/ > Shark watchers in England have been a bit fevered the last year, because of possible great white sightings here. In the latest report, the photo of a grey seal with a whopping great bite out of the side is pretty scary. The "theory" is that global warming is encouraging fish resident in the Mediterranean (like the GWS) to move further north. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article643371.ece On the other hand, we do get porbeagles here regularly, and they're pretty big animals. Likewise threshers, though they tend to be more in the Gulf Stream than around the east coast where it's colder. Cheers, Neale <Let's go diving! BobF>>

Bamboo/Wobby shark attack 3/29/07 The article said this is a Wobbegong...it clearly isn't. What species of bamboo is it? (Attached pic) bamboo owner <Mmm... does look like an Orectolobid, Carpet Shark to me... the nasal flaps, dorso-ventral compression... and biting habit... Is a Wobby... likely O. japonicus. Bob Fenner>
Re: bamboo shark attack 3/29/07 Are you sure? <Almost certain> There seem to be only two nasal flaps like a bamboo and the coloration is not reticulated like practically all Wobbegongs possess. I think that bamboos should be added to the man-eater list!! Scared of my tank, bill <Heeee! I've been chased by Carpet Sharks in the wild... luckily/happily not by Bamboos/Epaulettes! Bob Fenner>

Zebra Shark? - 09/07/06 Someone told me it is a Zebra shark? <<Mmm, if this is so (Stegostoma fasciatum) this shark will outgrow your system (some 7+ feet at maturity)>> <Much larger. RMF> Can you send me to a shark expert to get more understanding of what I have here? Brandon <<Try contacting the National Aquarium of Baltimore, they have/care for a female of this species there ( http://www.aqua.org/animals_zebrashark.html). Regards, EricR>>

Shark ID - 09/02/06 Can you give ma better idea of what this is? It is about 3.5 inches- 4 inches. <Mmm, small! Looks like a Bamboo Shark... likely a Chiloscyllium species...> If not can you send me somewhere that can. I have looked in a lot of books and online. I think it is a cat shark of some kind but would like more info on it. Was sold as a marble cat shark but it doesn't look right for the species. <Agreed... the head is not right at all. Bob Fenner> Thank you

Caribbean Shark? ID 3/16/06 Hello, <Hi there> While snorkeling off of St. Thomas, several of us spotted 4 shark-like species. The color was pale blue, size was approx 6-8 ft in length and had the same fins like that of a shark. <Likely Silkies, http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=868> It was definitely not a typical bonnet head shark. The snout looked like an imprint of a tennis shoe, the length of the snout was about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of a swordfish. The Captain of the trip said they were a type of shark - he was not in the water at the time and did not see them. Most recently, I was told by another Captain on a more recent BVI snorkeling group that they were most likely Remora fish that feed off of sharks. <Not really off of them... but on scraps... from them> However, my research online of Remora's did not look anything like the species we had seen. The disc-like sucker on the head of the Remora was similar to what we had seen. This imprint was located past the head, as if it were the "snout". Thank you for any information you may have to offer. Kathleen <See fishbase.org re. There are a few possibilities. Bob Fenner> Could you please explain the differences between the coral Catshark (Atelomycterus marmoratus) and the marble Catshark (Atelomycterus macleayi)??? - 01/12/2006 <See on fishbase.org... actually just looked... don't have a pic of the latter... but the Coral is distinctive in appearance and they do, oh and we do, have pix of this> I ordered the Sharks and Rays book but it hasn't arrived yet, and the local library did not have a copy. I am looking specifically for information concerning the differences in appearance and behavior (if any). Thanks a lot, and keep up the good work! Robert <Similar in terms of behavior, care... Bob Fenner>

Sharks and Rays in Aquariums
Gaining an understanding of how to keep these fishes in captive saltwater systems   

New Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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