Speckled Carpet Shark


Fish Type: shark


Scientific Name: Hemiscyllium trispeculare


Species: Orectolobidae

Color: black, brown, tan
Aggressiveness: Highly Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Max Size: 2' 6"
Minimum Tank Size: 200 gal
Relative Care: Expert
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria


The Speckled Carpet Shark grows quickly but will only reach about 30” in the home aquarium. It has a long tan body, small, round paired pectoral and pelvic fins with most of the shark’s body covered with smaller brown speckles or spots similar to that of a Leopard. Among the speckles are larger “saddle” spots usually located on the side of the body.

The Speckled Carpet Shark is originally native to northern Australia and New Guinea. This fascinating animal uses its pectoral and pelvis fins to “walk” along the substrate in a wiggling type motion. This method of locomotion comes in handy when the Speckled Carpet Shark ventures into tide pools during low tide to hunt for crustaceans and small animals in the rocks and crevices.

The Speckled Carpet Shark is considered an “expert only” animal. Provide an establish aquarium 200 gallons or larger in size with pristine water conditions. House with carefully chosen tank mates to ensure long term success. Sand is the preferred substrate as the Speckled Carpet Shark’s abdomen is easily scratched by a coarse substrate which could then cause an infection.

Provide the Speckled Carpet Shark, a low-stress environment with limited disruption and never exposed it to copper-based medications. The Speckled Carpet Shark is primarily nocturnal and not very active but is often observed rooting in the sand with their snouts searching for buried prey at dawn and dusk. The Speckled Carpet Shark does not tear up prey like other sharks and will thoroughly chew only bite-sized pieces of food that will fit in its mouth.

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The Speckled Carpet Shark has a hearty appetite and should be feed the freshest foods possible offered when the shark is naturally active, typically around dawn and dusk. If the Captive-Bred Speckled Carpet Shark is observed roaming the aquarium during daytime hours, it needs to be fed more.

The Speckled Carpet Shark’s diet should consist of small pieces of cleaned, vitamin-enriched squid or raw wild shrimp, large mysis shrimp, krill and chopped Silversides.

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