Leopard Shark (species: Stegostoma fasciatum) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Stegostoma fasciatum
Leopard Shark

©Vanessa Messmer: Stegostoma fasciatum off Coconut Beach, Lizard Island.

©Victor Huertas: Stegostoma fasciatum at Loomis Reef in the Lizard Island lagoon.

©Anne Hoggett: 2 metre long Stegostoma fasciatum attended by Common Cleanerfish at Watson's Bay, Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Elasmobranchii
Order Orectolobiformes
Family Stegostomatidae
Genus Stegostoma
Species Stegostoma fasciatum
Status unspecified



Distinguishing features

A large, bottom-dwelling shark with distinctive spotted colour pattern. The body has prominent ridges running along sides and the tail is extremely long, about half the body length. Pectoral fins are large, very broad and rounded.


  • Up to 200 cm (Measured as the total length of the fish: the length from the tip of the snout to the tip of the longer lobe of the caudal fin, usually measured with the lobes compressed along the midline. It is a straight-line measure, not measured over the curve of the body.) - applies to Maximum length observed in Lizard Island area

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia: Not commonly seen in the Lizard Island area


Sluggish, usually found resting on sandy bottom.

Web resources


  • unspecified - Unagressive, considered harmless


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Other references

  • Mirams, A.G.K., E.A. Treml, J.L. Shields, L. Liggins and C. Riginos (2011). Vicariance and dispersal across an intermittent barrier: population genetic structure of marine animals across the Torres Strait land bridge. Coral Reefs, 30: 937-949. LIRS catalog number 1482.