Species group: Sharks
Other common names: Brownbanded Bambooshark; Banded Cat Shark; Brown-Spotted Cat Shark; Brown-Banded Catshark; Gray Carpet Shark; Inuzame; Spotted Catshark
Scientific name: Chiloscyllium punctatum
The Brownbanded Bamboo Shark is a bottom-dwelling species of Bamboo shark, which is found in reefs throught the Indo-Pacific. The Brownbanded Bamboo Shark is a bottom-dweller, and is also called the Cat Shark since it has small whisker-like appendages on the mouth called barbels, which are sensory organs hanging from each nostril. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), "the species is likely to be threatened by overfishing for human consumption, habitat loss due to destructive fishing methods on coral reefs, and collection for the display-aquarium trade. It fails to meet the criteria for Vulnerable due to insufficient data, but is assessed as Near Threatened globally because of concern over the significant impact that these practices must be having on this species in much of its range."
Unlike most sharks, the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark is commonly found resting on the bottom of the aquarium. They are a common inshore Shark dwelling on coral reefs and in tide pools.They feed on invertebrates and small fish that they can swallow whole. Their gills are sometimes infested by larval isopods which they utilize as food. The Brownbanded Bamboo Shark has the ability to stay alive for as long as 12 hours out of water. It does so by switching off non-essential brain functions. This is an adaptation for hunting in tide pools with low oxygen conditions. These fish are egg-layers. The eggs are enclosed in elongated flattened egg-cases and, in captivity, these eggs take up to 4 months to hatch. Brownbanded Bamboo Sharks are sensitive to copper-based medications.
The Brownbanded Bamboo Shark has a moderately slender body and tail. Its mouth is closer to the eyes than its snout and has spiracles both below and behind them. The adult Brownbanded Bamboo Shark is light brown or grey in color, usually without a color pattern. It may, however, have a cream-colored body with broad dark brown or black stripes. There may be large, muted brown spots between the stripes.
Sharks are basically predators and when housing other fish with the Brown banded Bamboo Shark, the other fish must be larger and more aggressive fish.
The Brownbanded Bamboo Shark requires a 150-180 gallon tank with fine substrate and plenty of room for it to move around. The tank must also have a width of more than 24 inches. The amount of rocks in the tank can be limited but plenty of sand is provided for the shark to rest on. Sand would be ideal for the shark as its abdomen is easily scratched by a coarser substrate, which may lead to an infection. Good filtration is also very essential when housing Sharks.