Hooded carpet shark (Hemiscyllium strahani)

GenusHemiscyllium (1)
SizeMax length: 80 cm (2)

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

The hooded carpet shark is a little known species with a restricted range around the island of New Guinea (1). Scattered, large white spots and small dark spots cover most of its body, but it is a unique black mask over the head and snout, said to resemble an ‘executioner’s hood’, that gives the species its name (2) (3).The mouth is positioned well in front of the eyes, and the dorsal fins are located far back on the long, thick tail (2).

The hooded carpet shark is endemic to New Guinea, where it occurs off the northern and southern coasts of the island’s eastern extent (1).

Inhabits tropical waters over coral reefs, where it is typically observed at depths of 3 to 18 metres (1)

The biology of the hooded carpet shark is almost entirely unknown, but this nocturnal species does appear to hide in crevices and under coral heads during the day (1) (2). In addition, like other closely related carpet shark species, it probably reproduces oviparously (2) (3).

Owing to high levels of pollution and dynamite fishing practices, there is substantial habitat degradation taking place within the hooded carpet shark’s limited and somewhat fragmented range. Furthermore, as a hardy and attractive species, there is some concern that it is being exploited in the aquarium industry (1).

Further scientific research is required to determine the conservation status of the hooded carpet shark. Currently, there are no conservation measures in place for this under threat species (1).

To find out more about the hooded carpet shark, see:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2009)