Did you know that there are regularly new sharks discovered that later turn out to be already known species? One example is the Zebra shark, where at first adult sharks were considered a different species.

Another one is the in 2015 newly discovered Mandarin finback cat shark, as mentioned in this rather excited article. As it turned out (proven here), it was only a juvenile ornate topeshark (also known as ocellate topeshark), but that’s an understandable mistake, since that is a rare shark species from the family houndsharks, discovered only 11 years before. It is a cute little fish, so please make sure to shut off the sound before watching the video.

The ornate topeshark can be found in the Northwest Pacific from Japan to the Philippines at a depth of 295 to 328 ft -90 to 100 m.

Females gives birth to five to eight 9.5 in -24 cm- long pups per litter. Males reach maturity at 30 in -76 cm- and females at 32 in -81 cm. Maximum size is less than 39 in -1 m.

The skin pattern of the juvenile ornate topeshark, like the pattern on a mandarin goby (or the original: on the robes of an Imperial Chinese mandarin), motivated its common as well at its scientific name: hemitriakis complicofasciata, where complicofasciata means in Latin complicated stiped. The adult shark has got a rather boring grey-white, smooth skin.

It is a good thing that the name Mandarin shark did’t stick since there is already a, not related, Mandarin shark, named after its barbel, looking like a typical Chinese mustache.

Sources: here and here

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