Hemiscyllum michaeli is a new species of epaulette / bamboo shark from Papua new Guinea that was recently described by Allen & Dudgeon in the latest issue of Aqua. The epaulette sharks are a group of shallow water elongated sharks which live mostly on the seafloor and instead of swimming like most other fish, the Hemiscyllum sharks prefer to walk about using their muscular pelvic and pectoral fins to make slow headway.
Most of the epaulette sharks have similar color patterns with slight differences and it was Scott Michael who first recognized the unique color pattern of the shark species which now bears his name. Normally it is an honor for a person to have their name forever associated with the latin description of a living creature, plant or animal.
In this case we would put forth that it is the shark who is honored with the name of Scott Michael, the prominent fish expert and author of innumerable articles and many books on marine fish for the aquarium and SCUBA diving crowd. After two decades of writing about fishy topics it’s about time that Scott received a little bit of credit and we’re glad it was a shark and not a mosquito sized goby or cardinalfish. Photo above by Scott Michael.