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Taxonomische classification
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Author: Regan, 1906

Field Marks:
Flattened benthic sharks with dermal lobes on sides of head, symphyseal groove on chin, very conspicuous, variegated colour pattern of broad dark, dorsal saddles with light spots and corrugated edges, interspaced with light areas with dark broad reticular lines; also, mouth in front of eyes, long, basally branched nasal barbels, nasoral grooves and circumnarial grooves, two rows of enlarged fanglike teeth in upper jaw and three in lower jaw, first dorsal origin over pelvic bases.

Diagnostic Features:
Nasal barbels with a few branches; five dermal lobes below and in front of eye on each side of head; no dermal tubercles or ridges on back. Origin of first dorsal fin behind midbases of pelvic fins; first dorsal height about equal to base length; interspace between dorsal fins longer than inner margin of first dorsal, about half first dorsal base. Colour pattern highly variegated and conspicuous, dorsal surface of body with conspicuous broad, dark rectangular saddles with deeply corrugated margins, dotted with light spots and not ocellate in appearance; interspaces between saddles light, with numerous broad reticulated lines.

Geographical Distribution:
Western North Pacific: Japan, the Koreas, China, including Taiwan Island, Viet Nam, Philippines.

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known temperate to tropical inshore bottom shark, nocturnal in habits. Ovoviviparous, with litters of up to 20 3s young. Eats fish, and presumably bottom invertebrates.

Size:
A male was mature at 103 cm total length, maximum uncertain.

Interest to Fisheries:
Probably limited, caught in setnets in Japan ' and used for human consumption; also taken in China, the Koreas and Viet Nam.


Type material:
Syntypes: British Museum (Natural History), 2 syntypes, 1000 and 780 mm. Type Locality: Japan.

Japanese wobbegong (Orectolobus japonicus)