Cephaloscyllium laticeps

Draughtboard shark
Cephaloscyllium laticeps
Cephaloscyllium laticeps, Beware Reef, Vic, Photo: Andrew Green
Cephaloscyllium laticeps
Cephaloscyllium laticeps, Tasman Peninsula, TAS, Photo: Antonia Cooper
Cephaloscyllium laticeps
Cephaloscyllium laticeps, Hobart, TAS, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Cephaloscyllium laticeps
Cephaloscyllium laticeps
Cephaloscyllium laticeps


Temperate Australasia


Harmless slow-moving shark with an inflatable stomach, the reason why one of its common names is the ‘swell shark'. It has a strong sense of smell and is attracted to baits, often entering lobster pots–a surprising feat given that large animals almost completely fill the pot.


Max Size: 150 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 10.3-20.3°C

Depth: 3-60m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Common (21.1% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney