Epaulette Shark

Hemiscyllium ocellatum

About This Animal

SIZE: 3.5 feet in length

RANGE: Australia and New Guinea

HABITAT: Tide pools and shallow waters associated with coral reefs

DIET: Bottom-dwelling invertebrates such as worms, shrimp and shellfish

ON EXHIBIT: Shark Island in Ocean Journey

Epaulette sharks have nocturnal habits and frequent shallow water on coral reefs or in tidal pools. Like other sharks, female epaulette sharks do not provide care for their young. Epaulette sharks lay two to three eggs per week in tough, leathery egg cases. In approximately 130 days, the young sharks hatch. They are totally independent and ready to fend for themselves. Rather than swim, epaulette sharks "walk" by wriggling their bodies and pushing with their paired fins. 

As with most sharks, they have very low reproductive rates and are vulnerable to population decline if overfished.