Slender Bamboo Shark, Chiloscyllium indicum

The slender bamboo shark is a bottom dweller found in shallow coastal waters where the ocean floor is sandy or muddy–around bays, inlets, and coral reefs. Found mainly in the Indo-West Pacific waters from the Arabian Sea to India; also in Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, and Solomon Islands. It is occasionally found in freshwater of the Perak River of Malaysia.

The body of this species is brownish in color covered with dark splotches above and cream colored underneath. The mouth sets in front of the eyes with the nostrils at the tip of the snout. The body itself is slender having two round dorsal fins of the same size and both are smaller than the pelvic fin. It also has an elongated tail, with the total length of the fish averaging 2 feet. This species is sluggish and slow moving.

The slender bamboo shark will feed on bottom dwelling invertebrates and smaller fish.

The female slender bamboo shark is internally fertilized and will lay the small oval egg sacs in pairs on the sea bottom. The embryos nutrition is solely from the egg yolk. After hatching the young are not guarded and must fend for themselves.

The slender bamboo shark is near threatened on the endangered species list, and is considered harmless to humans.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Subclass: Elasmobranchii

Order: Orectolobiformes

Family: Hemiscylliidae

Image Credit: DS Jordan/RE Richardson/Wikipedia