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White Spotted Bamboo Shark

Scientific Name Chiloscyllium plagiosum

Native To Coastal regions of the mid-Pacific and Indian Ocean

Habitat Shallow tropical reefs

Diet Small fish and invertebrates

Size and Age Between 60-95 cm (24-37 in) long; lifespan up to 25 years

Natural History

These small carpet sharks are nocturnal reef-dwellers. They have elongated and narrow bodies, with lobed fins and rounded snouts. These adaptations are for gliding along coral reefs. They can even use their strong pectoral fins to crawl across the ocean floor.


White spotted bamboo sharks are poorly understood in the wild. Much of what is known about their biology and reproduction has been learned under human care.

Near Threatened

Conservation Status

White-spotted bamboo sharks are prized in the aquarium trade because they adjust well in captivity. Breeding under human care has eased a lot of the over-fishing of this shark for that purpose alone.

Interesting Facts

  • Shark scales are sometimes called dermal denticles due to their resemblance to small teeth; they help streamline the shark, and give it its sandpaper-like feel.
  • Their teeth have sharp cusps used for gripping soft prey. Those same teeth can be turned inward to form a flat plate to crush hard prey.