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Author: (Bennett, 1830)

Field Marks:
Very slender, narrow-headed catshark with variegated colour pattern, grey saddle markings obsolete, black spots enlarged and merging together to form dash and bar marks that bridge saddle areas, large white spots scattered on sides and back, anterior nasal flaps greatly expanded and extending to mouth, nasoral grooves present, first dorsal with origin about opposite or slightly in front of pelvic insertions, second dorsal fin much larger than anal fin and subequal to first dorsal.

Diagnostic Features:
Claspers of adult males extremely attenuated and narrow, reaching at least 2/3 of distance from pelvic insertions to anal origin. Colour pattern highly variegated, dorsal saddles obsolete, black spots enlarged and often merging together to form dash and bar marks that bridge saddle areas, light ground colour forming large white spots scattered on sides and back.

Geographical Distribution:
Indo-West Pacific: Pakistan and India to Malaya; Singapore, Indonesia, New Guinea, Thailand, Viet Nam, The Philippines, southern China, including Taiwan Island.

Habitat and Biology:
A common but little-known, harmless inshore species, found on coral reefs, and thought to inhabit crevices and holes on reefs. Oviparous, with single egg-cases laid per oviduct.

Size:
Maximum 70 cm; adult males 47 to 62 cm; adult females 49 to 57 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Unimportant, captured close inshore. Relatively common and formino a minor catch of inshore artisanal fisheries. Probably caught with line gear and gillnets, with flesh utilized fresh and dried-salted for food or processed for fishmeal and oil.

Remarks:
Springer (1979) warned that all records of this wide-ranging, attractive little shark might not pertain to a single species. The Philippines and Singapore specimens of the species examined by the writer are probably conspecific, but Western Australian specimens of this species (recorded by McKay, 1966) include A. macleayi and an undescribed species. Unfortunately, the writer did not find any specimens of Atelomycterus either in the field or in collections when he visited India in 1982.

Type material:
Holotype: Possibly lost according to Springer (1979). Type Locality: Sumatra.

Coral catshark (Atelomycterus marmoratus)