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ANDY MURCH ELASMO GEEK

 

WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

Not just a huge collection of Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.

There are now more than 10,000 shark pictures  and sections on shark evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:

WHAT'S NEW?

Shark picture - green sawfish

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CHUPARE STINGRAY

Chupare stingray or Caribbean whiptail stingray

Photographs copyright Andy Murch

View all available Chupare stingray / Caribbean Whiptail Stingray Pictures in the Shark Picture Database

Common Names: Chupare stingray, Caribbean stingray, Caribbean whiptail stingray, Caribbean whipray.

Latin Name: Himantura schmardae. Synonyms: Himantura schmarde, Trygon schmardae.  

Family: Dasyatidae

Identification: Disc oval (almost round) with flattened anterior margin. Dorsum covered in small but noticeable tubercles (enlarged dermal denticles). Dorsal coloration grey or dark/olive brown. Disc darkens towards margin. Ventrum yellowish or creamy white. One or two spines on tail. Tail has no fin-folds. When in tact, tail is approximately twice body length.

Size: Max disc width 1.2m. Total recorded length 2m.

Habitat: Reported from sandy bottoms sometimes adjacent to reefs. However, (as these images indicate) the chupare stingray also inhabits mangrove and muddy lagoons.

Abundance and distribution: Western tropical Atlantic from Gulf of Campeche to Suriname and northern Brazil. The Caribbean whiptail stingray is reportedly common around Cuba.

Behavior: Photographed specimens were found foraging for food at the edge of the mangrove during the day. Other individuals were startled out of their resting places under the silt and algae. implying that Chupare stingrays can be nocturnal or diurnal.

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous.

IUCN Red List Status: Insufficient data available for an accurate assessment.

Similar species: The chupare stingray is easily distinguished from other dasyatid rays by its rounded disc and tail with no finfolds. The southern stingray and Atlantic stingray have distinctly romboid (kite shaped) discs.

The chupare stingray is the only ray in the genus Himantura in the Caribbean.

Reaction to divers: Caribbean whiptail stingrays are extremely skittish. They are very difficult to approach while on scuba or while snorkeling.

Diving logistics: It is possible to snorkel with chupare stingrays in Oyster Bed Lagoon which is adjacent to Deep Blue Resort in Utila, Honduras.

The chupare stingray has also been photographed in Belize and is reportedly common off the coast of Cuba.

 

Photographs: Oyster Bed Lagoon, Utila, Honduras. These images were obtained through the cooperation and support of Steve Fox - Owner of Deep Blue Resort, Utila.

Other diving locations submitted by readers: 

Further reading:

Reef Sharks and Rays of the World - Scott Michael

Fishbase.org

 

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