Leopard Epaulette Shark

The leopard epaulette shark is a bamboo shark found in eastern Papua New Guinea. It was named after photographer and aquarist Scott W. Michael, whose work brought the difference between this shark and the Indonesian speckled carpetshark to public attention.

Leopard Epaulette Shark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Orectolobiformes
Family Hemiscylliidae
Genus Hemiscyllium
Scientific Name H. michaeli


Leopard epaulette sharks reach a maximum length of 27.4 inches. The entire body of this shark is covered with leopard-like brown ocellated spots. These spots are more polygonal and less rounded.

Where do they live

Map Of The Leopard Epaulette Shark’s Habitat

Leopard Epaulette Shark Habitat Map

This shark has only been spotted in the Milne Bay region of eastern Papua New Guinea.

They swim in shallow tropical waters at depths of 6-65 ft.



While unconfirmed, it is believed that this shark is oviparous and lays eggs.


Like other epaulette sharks, it can walk with the help of its fins.

Interactions with humans

The IUCN lists this shark as “Vulnerable” or “VU” due to its small range and the lack of information surrounding it.

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