Very special thanks for the first photo of Neotrygon ningalooensis to Dr. Kirk R. Gastrich, he has take this photo in the Eastern Gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia; 11th of September, 2009.
The Northern wobbegong occurs in shallow water and is often found in turbid areas.
Flattened benthic sharks with dermal lobes on sides of head, symphysial groove on chin, variegated but rather sombre colour pattern of rounded, ocellate dark dorsal saddles with entire edging and light margins, interspaced with broad dusky areas without spots or reticular lines; also, mouth in front of eyes, long, basally branched nasal barbels, nasoral
grooves and circumnarial grooves, two rows of enlarged fang-like teeth in upper jaw and three in lower jaw.
Diagnostic Features: Nasal barbels without branches. Two dermal lobes below and in front of eye on each side of head; dermal lobes behind spiracles unbranched and broad. No dermal tubercles or ridges on back. Interspace between dorsal fins longer than inner margin of first dorsal fin, about half first dorsal-fin base. Origin of first dorsal fin over about last fourth of
pelvic-fin base. First dorsal-fin height about equal to base length. Colour: colour pattern variegated but dull and sombre compared to most other wobbegongs, dorsal surface of body with small, rounded, ocellate, light-edged saddle marks with entire margins, separated from each other by broad, dusky spaces without spots or broad reticulated lines.
Distribution: Western South Pacific: Confined to Australian waters (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia).
Habitat: A little-known but possibly common tropical inshore bottom shark of the Australian northern continental shelf. Occurs on shallow-water reefs in water less than 3 m deep, often in turbid areas.
Biology: A nocturnal shark, inactive during the day,sometimes seen with its head under a ledge. Probably ovoviviparous.
Presumably feeds on bottom invertebrates and fishes, but diet unrecorded.
Size: Maximum to at least 63 cm and possibly 100 cm; a
45 cm male was mature.
Interest to Fisheries and Human Impact: Interest to fisheries none at present. Conservation status unknown.
Local Names: Northern wobbegong, North Australian wobbegong
Literature: Whitley (1939, 1940); Marshall (1965); Compagno (1984); Michael (1993); Last and Stevens (1994).
Sutorectus wardi (Whitley, 1939)
Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Elasmobranchii (Class) > Neoselachii (Subclass) > Selachii (Infraclass) > Galeomorphi (Superorder) > Orectolobiformes (Order) > Orectolobidae (Family) > Orectolobus (Genus) > Orectolobus wardi (Species)