Chiloscyllium indicum   (Gmelin,  1789) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Chondrichthyes

Image copyrights: FAO

Max. size: 65 cm

Color: Light brown above, cream below, with numerous dark spots on body, tail and fins, these often forming indistinct vertical bars and saddles.

A small shark; body slender, with low; lateral ridges; precaudal tail slender, longer than trunk. Snout narrowly rounded or almost pointed; 5 small gill slits; spiracles large and below eyes; eyes elevated, with a low supraorbital ridge above them, without nictitating eyelids; nostrils with short barbels, nasoral grooves and circumnarial grooves; mouth small; transverse, and well in front of eyes; teeth small, similar in both jaws, with a single small cusp. Two dorsal fins, about as large as pelvic fins and without attenuated, projecting free rear tips; first dorsal fin origin over inner margins of pelvic fins and behind pelvic insertions; second dorsal fin almost as large as first; anal fin long, low, and broadly rounded, with its origin far behind free rear tip of second dorsal fin and with its insertion at lower caudal fin origin; caudal fin strongly asymmetrical, with a pronounced subterminal notch but without a ventral lobe; caudal fin less than 1/3 the length of rest of shark. Caudal peduncle cylindrical, without keels or precaudal pits. Intestinal valve of ring type.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Oviparous, deposits eggs in small, oval egg cases on the bottom. Paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk. Distinct pairing with embrace.

Synonym (s)
Chiloscyllium colax (Meuschen, 1781)
(Junior synonym)
Chiloscyllium plagiosum (non Anon, 1830)
(Misapplied name)
Hemiscyllium colax (Meuschen, 1781)
(Junior synonym)
Scyliorhinus dentatus Blainville, 1816
(Ambiguous synonym)
Squalus colax Meuschen, 1781
(Junior synonym)
Squalus indicus Gmelin, 1789
(Senior synonym)
Chiloscyllium indicum phymatodes (Gmelin, 1789)
(Junior synonym)
Chiloscyllium phymatodes Bleeker, 1852
(Junior synonym)
Chiloscyllium tuberculatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Scyliorhinus tuberculatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Squalus caudatus Gronow, 1854
(Junior synonym)
Squalus gronovianus Shaw, 1804
(Junior synonym)
Squalus tuberculatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
(Junior synonym)
Chilosycylum indicum (Gmelin, 1789)

Common Name (s)
• Ridge Back Cat Shark (English)
• Slender Bamboo Shark (English)
• Indian Cat Shark (English)
• Rigged Back Cat Shark (English)
• Ettee (Malayalam)
• Balavala (Marathi)
• Bokee Sorrah (Telugu)
• Ra Sorrah (Telugu)
• Catshark (English)
• Nurse shark (English)
• Ridge back shark (English)
• Ridgebacked bamboo shark (English)
• Karikkan schura (Tamil)
• Sorungun sorrah (Tamil)
• Korangan sorrah (Tamil)
• Baravta (Marathi)
• Etti (Malayalam)
• Udumban Sravu (Malayalam)
• Corungun (Tamil)
• Bakhi Sorrah (Oriya)
• Ridge-lack Cat Shark (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Utilized fresh for human consumption.)

Habitat:  Demersal, Estuarine, Sandy, Muddy, Coastal
Prey:  Bottom-dwelling invertebrates
IUCN Status:  NearThreatened


• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi INDIA (Record: 2000-2002)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Southwest Coast INDIA
• Gulf of Aden
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• East Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Venkataraman, K; Milton, MCJ and Raghuram, KP (2003) Handbook on sharks of Indian waters ZSI, Kolkata 1-113
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Chatterjee, TK; Talukdar, RS and Mukherjee, AK (2000) Fish and fisheries of Digha coast of West Bengal Occasional paper no 188 Records of the Zoological Survey of India 31778 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Compagno, LJV; Last, PR; Stevens, JD and MNR, Alava (2005) Checklist of Philippine Chondrichthyes CSIRO Marine Laboratories 104 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Goswami, BCB (1992) Marine fauna of Digha coast of West Bengal, India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 34 115-137 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Suppa, M; Suebsin, S; Suri, V and Songsirikul, T (1997) Checklist of fishes in Thailand Office of Environmental Policy and Planning 1-353 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • Joshi, KK; Balachandran, K and Raje, SG (2008) Changes in the shark fishery at Cochin Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 50(1) 103-105 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Bijukumar, A and Deepthi, GR (2009) Mean trophic index of fish fauna associated with trawl bycatch of Kerala, southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 51(2) 145 - 154 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Raje, SG; Sivakami, S; Mohanraj, G; Manoj Kumar, PP; Raju, A and Joshi, KK (2007) An atlas on the Elasmobranch fishery resources of India CMFRI Special publication CMFRI, Cochin, India. 95 253pp Available at -
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Dholakia, AD (2004) Marine resources Fisheries and aquatic resources of India Daya publishing house 271-303 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Coastal Fishery Resources in Countries Bordering Indian Ocean Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-17

Back to Search