Requin aveugle des roches
Tiburón ciego de roca
prominent barbells. Spiracles large. Two high dorsal fins of roughly equal size
set well back on body. Dorsal coloration mottled grey/brown with prominent but
sometimes indistinct darker saddles and small white spots. Markings fade with
age and large adults may display an almost uniform dark grey/brown coloration.
Ventrum pale but slightly mottled.
at birth 15 to 18cm. Max
Rocky and coral reefs and sea grass beds. Often in surge swept turbid areas. Intertidal to 150m.
Resricted to Australia.
Northern Territory to New South Wales. Unconfirmed reports from Western
Australia. A common inhabitant of near-shore reefs.
Nocturnal. Juveniles lodge themselves in shallow reef crevices by day. Larger
adults rest in caves. Hunts for anemones, cuttlefish, crabs, and shrimp. The
blind shark gets its common name from its habit of closing its eyes when held
out of the water.
In Nelson Bay, NSW.
Blind sharks tend to rest out in the open laying on sponges.
Gives birth during the summer months. Litter number maximum eight.
Bait Reef, South West Rocks, NSW. Australia.
only other member of the blind shark family is the Colcloughs
Shark (Heteroscyllium colcloughi). It is a rarely encountered species and is
distinguished by its plainer coloration, relatively small second dorsal fin, and
anal fin which is further away from the lower caudal lobe.
Reaction to divers:
When encountered during the day, blind sharks generally remain motionless or try
to bury deeper into their hiding places. At night they can sometimes be closely
observed foraging on the reef but they are generally wary.
have removed resting sharks from crevices have been bitten. There are reports of
stubborn blind sharks latching onto diver's wetsuits and refusing to let go
until taken to the surface. Even then they had to have their jaws pried apart.
One report of a shark letting go once it was doused in fresh water.
logistics: Blind sharks are
regularly encountered by divers in NSW and Queensland. The shallow reefs around
South West Rocks, NSW. are a good place to look. Some of these dives can be done
from shore but the best encounters are slightly deeper and require boat access.
Green Island is an exceptionally good site that may turn up 4 or 5 Blind Sharks
on one dive as well as many wobbegong sharks and grey nurse sharks. For boat
diving try Fish Rock Dive
Bait Reef in SW
Rocks is also a good place to look and is accessible by boat or from shore if
conditions permit. It can be accessed by parking in the grounds of the old jail
and swimming out from the rocks. Contact Jon at Fish Rock Dive Centre for more
Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.
and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.