Australian Epaulette Shark


Fish Type: shark


Scientific Name: Hemiscyllium ocellatum


Species: Orectolobidae

Color: tan, yellow
Aggressiveness: Highly Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Max Size: 3' 6"
Minimum Tank Size: 360 gal
Relative Care: Expert
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria


The Australian Epaulette Shark is a fairly small bottom-dwelling shark. It has a series of small spots on a yellowish-tan body and is recognized by the large spot directly above each pectoral fin. The Australian Epaulette Shark can reach a maximum size of 42″.

A tank of 360 gallons or larger should be adequate. It requires sand as the substrate in the aquarium. The Epaulette’s abdomen is easily scratched by a coarser substrate which could cause an infection. It should never be exposed to copper-based medications. The Epaulette Shark will eat invertebrates in the aquarium, and since it is primarily active at night, will prey upon any small, sleeping fish.

When first introduced into the aquarium, small pieces of cleaned squid or live saltwater feeder shrimp should be used to entice this fish to eat. Then it may be fed shrimp, scallops or pieces of fresh marine fish.

The Epaulette Shark should only be kept by expert aquarists.

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