Not just Shark
Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and
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
There are now
more than 5000 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:
Dorsum grey/tan or mottled tan and brown with
irregular dark spots and lines. Ventrum pale. Anterior margin of disc straight with slight
concavity. Rear margin of body disc rounded. Snout angular with translucent
patches on each side of central ridge. Row of thorns on dorsal ridge from behind
eyes to dorsal fins. Tail with two relatively large, equally sized dorsal
fins near tip. Secondary shorter rows of thorns just behind eyes.
Sandy or muddy substrates. Sometimes around rocky reefs. Intertidal to 330m but
usually from shallows to 50m.
Abundance and distribution: Restricted
to the Western Atlantic from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico.
Behavior: Enters estuarine
environments in search of food. The clearnose skate
feeds mainly on decapod crustaceans, bivalves, polychaete worms, squids and
Mates in inshore bays. Oviparous.
Lays flattened egg cases on the sand. Egg cases have stiff pointed horns at the
Conservation Status: Least
Concern. According to the IUCN, the primary threat to this species is capture as
bycatch of otter trawls during groundfish trawling and scallop dredge
operations. Age data for this species are old, but suggest that females mature
at 4–6 years (the three generation period for this species may therefore be ~18
years). National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) trawl surveys indicate that
biomass of this species has steadily decreased over the last five years.
Analysis of trends in abundance of this species in six different scientific
surveys on the eastern coast of the USA (during various periods from 1966–2005),
found it to be increasing in three surveys, decreasing in one, with no apparent
trend in two others. The NMFS does not consider this species overfished in its
2006 assessment and, given that the overall population trend does not appear to
be declining this species is assessed as Least Concern. However, the declines
observed in some areas, coupled with the species’ potentially limiting
life-history characteristics suggests that population trends should be carefully
monitored. Further research on this species’ life-history and population
structure is also required.
Citation: Ha, D., Luer,
C. & Sulikowski, J. 2009. Raja eglanteria. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of
Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.
Rhode Island, USA.
The clearnose skate shares its range with a number of other skate species
present along the eastern seaboard but no other shallow water skates display the
line and spot patterns of the clearnose skate or the translucent areas around
Reaction to divers: Tolerant.
Remains motionless unless molested.
Clearnose skates can occasionally be seen on shallow shore dives from southern
New England southwards. If you are aware of any area where clearnose skates are
particularly common, please email Elasmodiver.