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Blind Shark (Brachaelurus waddi)

Blind Shark (Brachaelurus waddi)

All images and text on this page are copyright protected: © 2010 Kelvin Aitken.
All rights reserved. Students may use this information for personal research only. Not for commercial use.

Order: Orectolobiformes
Family: Brachaeluridae
Genus: Brachaelurus
Species: waddi
Taxonomic name: Brachaelurus waddi

The Blind Shark (Brachaelurus waddi) can be found from Morton Bay down to southern New South Wales. In colour it is light to very dark chocolate brown with small white specks on the back and flanks. Juveniles have a series of distinct dark bands on the body that fade and disappear as they reach adulthood. The body is chubby with a broad head sporting obvious barbels on the nostrils. A large spiracle can be found behind each eye allowing it to grub about in silty areas without disturbing its breathing.

Blind sharks are nocturnal. They rest in caves, ledges or sheltered crevices during the day and feed on various invertebrates such as crabs and shells as well as small fish at night. Blind sharks are often found in heavy surge zones where rock fishermen occasionally land a specimen. When caught they close their eyes, a habit which gives them their common name.

In the same family is the Colcloughs Shark (Brachaelurus colcloughi) which has a smaller range and a higher body profile.

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