Atelomycterus erdmanni is a new species of catshark from Indonesia with a very attractive jaguar pattern and a typical slender catshark body shape. The new species is names after Mark Erdmann, a prolific diver, underwater explorer and ichthyologist who has also been honored with his name on a blenny, on a goby and dottyback.
The new catshark is the first new species of shark from Indonesia since the description of Hemiscyllium halmahera, also in Eastern Indonesia. The type specimens of Atelomycterus erdmanni were collected in from Manodo in northern Sulawesi Indonesia but the species has also been sighted from Lembeh Strait and Bunaken Islands in North Sulawesi, and from Ambon in the Maluku Islands.
Atelomycterus erdmanni is closely related to A. baliensis and A. marmoratus but it is distinguished by having several large white spots which are nearly ringed by a black outline and smaller black spots along the dark grey-brown body giving the fish a distinctive and very pretty color pattern. Another identifying feature is the presence of small spots on the underside of the body giving this species of Atelomycterus the common name of spotted-belly catshark. [JSOF]