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Author: Chan, 1966

Field Marks:
A catshark with a stout body, no labial furrows, and with a striking colour pattern of narrow dark lines arranged as open-centred saddles, loops, reticulations and spots, as well as moderately large dark spots (absent in young) on light ground colour, anterior nasal flaps elongate, lobate, and not overlapping mouth posteriorly, and second dorsal fin much smaller than first.

Diagnostic Features:
Snout rounded-angular in dorsoventral view, very short; anterior nasal flaps narrowly lobate, not overlapping mouth posteriorly. Colour pattern of dark brown lines formed into open-centred saddles, spots, and reticulations on a light greyish brown background, also some small dark brown spots on sides and back; underside of head and abdomen spotted; fins without conspicuous light margins. A small species, adult at less than 50 cm.

Geographical Distribution:
Western Pacific: Viet Nam, China (Hainan Island), northwestern Australia.

Habitat and Biology:
A tropical swellshark found in deepish wateron or near the bottom on the outer continental shelf and uppermost slope, at depths of 219 to 314 m; caught on mud bottom. Can expand itself with air or water.

Size:
Maximum at least 42 cm (adolescent or adult female).

Interest to Fisheries:
None at present, caught by commercial bottom trawlers.

Remarks:
Recently taken off northwestern Australia (Dr J.D. Stevens, pers.comm.).

Type material:
Holotype: British Museum (Natural History), BMNH 1965.8.11.1, 422 mm adolescent or adult female. Type Locality: 15°55.7'N, 109°18.5'E, from 205 to 315 m depth.

Reticulated swellshark (Cephaloscyllium fasciatum)