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COMMON NAME: Brownbanded Bamboo Shark / Whitespotted Bamboo Shark

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chiloscyllium punctatum / Chiloscyllium plagiosum

DESCRIPTION: The brownbanded adults are overall brownish with faint bands, while juveniles are distinctly barred dark and pale; whitespotted have a color pattern of white and dark spots, with dark bands and a brown body.

HABITAT/RANGE: Shallow water tropical reef-dwelling sharks found in the Indo-West Pacific region.

DIET: Small fish and invertebrates.


ON EXHIBIT: Adventure Zone B – Touch-A-Shark Exhibit

Bamboo Shark

If it’s not enough to simply see sharks up close at Adventure Aquarium, you also have the rare opportunity to actually TOUCH and FEEL certain species in our Touch-A-Shark exhibit, sponsored by Humana. Among these species are our brownbanded and whitespotted bamboo sharks.

Brownbanded bamboo sharks can grow up to 3 ½ feet long. When it is young, it has dark stripes along its body, which fade as it matures into adulthood. The brownbanded bamboo shark can be found hiding in the crevices of inshore coral reefs.

The whitespotted bamboo shark will only grow to about 3 feet long. It is nocturnal, so it will prey on small fish and invertebrates at night. The whitespotted bamboo shark’s natural banded and spotted coloring acts as camouflage, making the inshore coral reefs a safe place to hide.

A bamboo shark will use its muscular fins like legs to help it “crawl” along the ocean floor or reef. Like a catfish, this shark has barbels near its mouth that help it locate food hidden in the sand.