Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes
(Ground sharks) > Scyliorhinidae
(Cat sharks) > Scyliorhininae
Etymology: Cephaloscyllium: cephalus, from kephale (Gr.), head, referring to its very broad and depressed head; skylion, Greek for dogfish or small shark. (See ETYFish); signourum: signa, from signum (L.), flag; oura (Gr.), tail, but used here as an adjective (tailed), referring to distinctive flag-like dark marking on terminal lobe of caudal fin. (See ETYFish).
More on authors: Last, Séret & White.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; benthopelagic; depth range 480 - 700 m (Ref. 76946). Tropical
Western Pacific: Australia; possibly occurring off the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Vanuatu.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 74.1 cm TL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
This medium-sized species has the following set of characters which was based on the holotype: head 7.5% TL in height, trunk 16.3% TL in width; origin of first dorsal-fin is over the anterior pelvic-fin base; prenarial 3.6% TL in length; preorbital snout length is 2.0 times prenarial length, 3.0 in prepectoral length, 6.6 in prepelvic length; snout-vent length long, 51.7% TL; nostril width 2.7% TL; eye-spiracle space narrow, 0.5% TL; pectoral fin medium-sized, its height 12.8% TL, posterior margin 11.9% TL; anal fin tall, 4.0% TL; anal-caudal space is 5.0% TL; precaudal length is 76% TL; interdorsal space is 6.6% TL; teeth with 3 well-developed cusps near symphysis of upper jaw; mostly unicuspidate flank denticles; back without the greatly enlarged denticles; adult clasper unknown; vertebral centra 115-116; tooth count high, 84 teeth in upper jaws, 97 in lower jaws; color of upper half of body medium brown, with a variegated pattern that is not clearly demarcated from the ventral surface; dark saddles (10) evident on body and tail; dorsal fins are pale variegated; dark blotch absent over gills; marking on posterior margin of terminal lobe of caudal fin dark, anteriorly directed, V-shaped; upper surface of pectoral-fin with a dark brown central blotch; centered over ventral origin of caudal fin is a well-developed saddle; ventral surface is uniformly greyish or white in color; juveniles are pale with dark transverse markings appearing as narrow bars and hollow saddles; markings between spiracles not separated into two unconnected pseudo-ocelli (Ref. 76946).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Last, P.R., B. Séret and W.T. White, 2008. New swellsharks (Cephaloscyllium: Scyliorhinidae) from the Indo-Australian region. In Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds.): Descriptions of New Australian Chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper no. 22. (Ref. 76946)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 6.2 - 10.2, mean 7.7 °C (based on 119 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00275 (0.00140 - 0.00542), b=3.20 (3.02 - 3.38), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.5 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100).