Epaulette Shark - Hemiscyllium Halmahera Jararta
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This epaulette sharks are members of the family Hemiscylliidae. This genus contains six species. Some of the most ornately marked species in the genus Hemiscyllium have relatively limited distributions (most are scattered around the coast of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya) where limited or no fish collecting occurs. For example, there is an undescribed species that is found in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea that sports a very attractive livery. There is also a handsome species, Hemiscyllium freycineti, from Irian Jaya. The only species that shows-up in the aquarium trade with regularity is the epaulette shark ( Hemiscyllium ocellatum ). This species is found around the coast of northern Australia. It is also reported from Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, but these reports are probably erroneous (that is, they are cases of confusing H. ocellatum with similar species).
The epaulette shark has a large black spot (usually surrounded by white) just behind the pectoral fins, and numerous dark spots that are smaller than the ocelli. Two color phases have been observed: one has a golden base color, numerous small dark spots, and very pronounced ocelli, while the other is tan with fewer, larger spots and less distinct ocelli. Hallstrom's epaulette shark ( Hemiscyllium hallstromi ), which is known only from the waters of Papua New Guinea, is similar to H. ocellatum. Hallstrom's Epaulette has spots that are equal to or larger than the ocelli, and it has no spots in front of the eyes, whereas the epaulette shark may or may not have spots there.
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