Northern Draughtboard Swellshark, Cephaloscyllium variegatum Last & White 2008

Other Names: Saddled Swellshark

A Northern Draughtboard Shark, Cephaloscyllium variegatum. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A rare brownish to greyish swell shark with a variable pattern of dark saddles along the back. Juveniles are pale with many spots.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Cephaloscyllium variegatum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Jan 2020,

Northern Draughtboard Swellshark, Cephaloscyllium variegatum Last & White 2008

More Info


Endemic to eastern Australia, from off Rockingham Bay (Queensland) to off Tathra (New South Wales), and possibly on the Britannia Seamount off Queensland and New South Wales. Found on the outer continental shelf and upper slope in depths of 114–606 m.


A poorly known species, with very little known of its habitat and ecology. Swell sharks are egg layers (oviparous). Male Northern Draughtboard Swellsharks mature at 55–60 cm TL and the smallest free-swimming individual known measured 17 cm TL.


Although not targeted, the Northern Draughtboard Swellshark is taken as bycatch in commercial prawn and trawl fisheries in southern Queensland and New South Wales.


The specific name variegatum is from the Latin variegatus meaning 'various', in references to the strong intraspecific and ontogenetic variability in colour pattern and morphology among the specimens examined.


Dianne J. Bray

Northern Draughtboard Swellshark, Cephaloscyllium variegatum Last & White 2008


Compagno, L.J.V. & V.H. Niem, 1998. Scyliorhinidae. Catsharks. p. 1279-1292. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAOIdentification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. (as Cephaloscyllium Sp B & C)

Compagno, L.J.V., D. Dando & S. Fowler. 2005. A field guide to the sharks of the world. Harper Collins Publishing Ltd., London, 368 pp. (as Cephaloscyllium Sp B & C)

Graham, K.J., Andrew, N.L. & Hodgson, K.E. 2001. Changes in relative abundance of sharks and rays on Australian South East Fishery trawl grounds after twenty years of fishing. Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 549–561.

Kyne, P.M. & Barratt, P.J. 2011. Cephaloscyllium variegatum. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 09 February 2014.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia. 513 pp. (asCephaloscyllium Sp B & C)

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Second Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Last, P.R. & White, W.T. 2008. Two new Saddled Swellsharks (Cephalosyllium: Scyliorhinidae) from eastern Australia. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper 22: 159–170.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37015031


Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Fishing:Commercial bycatch

Max Size:115-605 m

Max Size:74 cm TL


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