Common name: brownbanded bambooshark
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Juveniles exhibit alternating brown/white or black/white banding. White bands become brown with maturity. Body shape is long and slender. Adults are light brown to greyish brown with no prominent color patterns. Dorsal fins larger than pelvic fins. Pectoral and pelvic fins forward of dorsal fin. From Compagno and Niem (1998) and Allen et al. (2003).
Similar species: Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) has a wider head, heavier body, and uniform grey to brown coloration. Juvenile nurse sharks do not have color banding on the body.
Native Range: Brownbanded bamboosharks are distributed in the Indo-Asian Pacific from Madagascar and India to Indonesia and Philippines, north to southern Japan. From Allen et al. (2003).
In Florida, one individual was observed and photographed near Riviera Beach in 2007 (REEF 2008).
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Chiloscyllium punctatum are found here.
Table last updated 11/29/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: The brownbanded bambooshark inhabits near-shore corals reefs and tide pools. In Australia, the species prefers seagrass habitat, which could be a function of habitat partitioning with other near-shore sharks (White and Potter 2004). The diet likely consists of invertebrates and small fish (Last and Stevens 1994). The species is small and adapts well to captivity. It can also withstand a wide range of environmental conditions, and breeding programs in Australia and Germany have been successful (Harahush et al. 2007). Bamboosharks are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are classified as ‘Near Threatened’ globally. In Australia, the bambooshark is classified as ‘Least Concern’ (Cavanagh et al. 2003). The bambooshark is an oviparous species that lays brown rectangular egg cases attached to coral and rocky substrates by small and delicate tendrils (Harahush et al. 2007).
Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release.
Status: Reported from Florida.
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach. 2003. Reef Fish Identification. Tropical Pacific. New World Publications, Inc., Jacksonville, Florida and Odyssey Publications, El Cajon, California.
Cavanagh, R. D., P.K. Kyne, S.L. Fowler, J.A. Musick, and M.B. Bennett. 2003. Report of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group Australia and Oceania Regional Red List Workshop. Brisbane: The University of Queensland, School of Biomedical Sciences.
Compagno, L. J. V. and V. H. Niem. 1998. Hemiscylliidae. Longtail carpetsharks. Pp 1249-1259 in: Carpenter, K. E. and V. H. Niem (eds.) FAO identification guide for fishery purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome.
Harahush, B. K., A. B. P. Fischer and S. P. Collin. 2007. Captive breeding and embryonic development of Chiloscyllium punctatum Muller & Henle, 1838 (Elasmobranchii: Hemiscyllidae). Journal of Fish Biology 71: 1007-1022.
Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). 2008. Exotic species sighting program and volunteer database. World wide web electronic publication. www.reef.org, date of download March 10, 2008.
White, W. T. and I. C. Potter. 2004. Habitat partitioning among four elasmobranch species in nearshore, shallow waters of a subtropical embayment in Western Australia. Marine Biology 145: 1023-1032.
Schofield, Pamela J., and James A. Morris, Jr.
Revision Date: 8/26/2020
Peer Review Date: 4/23/2009
Schofield, Pamela J., and James A. Morris, Jr., 2023, Chiloscyllium punctatum Müller and Henle, 1838: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2762, Revision Date: 8/26/2020, Peer Review Date: 4/23/2009, Access Date: 11/29/2023
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.