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Author: Whitley, 1939

Field Marks:
Very slender, narrow-headed catshark with variegated colour pattern, grey saddles spaced by light ground colour and outlined with small black spots, anterior nasal flaps greatly expanded and extending to mouth, nasoral grooves present, first dorsal with origin about opposite pelvic insertions, second dorsal fin much larger than anal fin and subequal to first dorsal.

Diagnostic Features:
Claspers of adult males stout and moderately long, reaching about halfway to anal origin. Colour pattern highly variegated, grey dorsal saddles well-marked and separated by light ground colour, black spots small, numerous, and outlining saddle areas as well as being scattered on flanks, no small or large white spots scattered on sides and back.

Geographical Distribution:
Western South Pacific: Australia (Northern and Western Australia, Queensland).

Habitat and Biology:
A little-known inshore, shallow-water catshark, found on sandy and rocky bottom at depths of 0.5 to 3.5 m and presumably deeper. Oviparous.

Maximum about 60 cm; adult males at 48 to 49 cm; adult females 51 cm. Size at hatching probably about 10 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present.

Springer (1979) was uncertain if this species was valid or a synonym of A. marmoratus, but examination of its holotype and other material convinced me that the species is readily separable from nominal A. marmoratus by its colour pattern, shorter, stouter claspers, and differences in the external structures of its clasper glans. Whitley (1939, 1940) suggested that the species differed in egg-case morphology from A. marmoratus. Records of A. marmoratus from Western Australia (McKay, 1966) include a hatchling of this species as well as two specimens of an undescribed Australian Atelomycterus.

Type material:
Holotype: Australian Museum, Sydney, AMS 1.5269, 488 mm adult male. Type Locality: Port Darwin, Northern Australia, Timor Sea, Indian Ocean.

Australian marbled catshark (Atelomycterus macleayi)