The Papuan epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium hallstromi) is named after the conspicuous epaulette spots, or shoulder patches, on the side of its body, above the pectoral fins. Closer examination of the spots reveals that they are actually white rings surrounded by two or three large, black spots (2).
The Papuan epaulette shark has a scattering of wide-spaced, small and large dark spots across the majority of its body, except for the snout (2). The mouth is positioned well in front of the eyes, and the spineless dorsal fins are located far back on the extremely elongated, thick tail (3).
The Papuan epaulette shark can be easily distinguished from the rather similar hooded carpet shark (Hemiscyllium strahani) by the lack of a dark hood covering its head (3).
- Male length: up to 77 cm (2)