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WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

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 photography.

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:

WHAT'S NEW?

Shark picture - green sawfish

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COMMON STINGRAY

 

Common Stingray Dasyatis pastinaca

Common Stingray Dasyatis pastinaca

Photographs copyright Andy Murch

View all available Common Stingray Pictures in the Shark Picture Database

Common Names: Common Stingray, Golden Stingray, Pastinaca Ray.

Latin Name: Dasyatis pastinaca.

Family: Dasyatidae.

Identification: Rhomboid shaped disc with straight anterior margin and mildly convex posterior margin. Snout pointed with small protrusion. Tail less than twice disc length. Dorsal finfold short. Ventral finfold short and deep. Dorsum grey to golden brown. Ventrum off white with grey/brown margin.

Size: Maximum disc width 60cm

 Habitat: Sand and mud sometimes in estuaries and around rocky reefs. Intertidal to 200m .

Abundance and distribution: Eastern Atlantic (North Sea, Baltic to Mauritania). Also in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Behavior: Rests on sand or under rocky ledges. Forages for crustaceans, gastropods, molluscs, and small benthic fishes.

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous. litter from 4 to 7. Gestation around 4 months.

Observations: During a "ray feed" these rays followed each other around closely on the sand. This may be opportunistic feeding i.e. waiting for the first ray to sniff out the food, or a mating display, or behaviour related to some other function. See image below:

Common Stingrays Common Stingrays following eachother

Photographs: Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Canary Islands.

Similar species: The Common Stingray shares its range with a variety of other rays including Dasyatis tortonesei which has a more pointed snout and a dorsal keel instead of a finfold. Two simpatric stingrays grow much larger: the Black or Round Stingray is darker and has scattered spots and a more rounded disc, and the Roughtail Stingray which has obvious tubercles along its tail.

Reaction to divers: Moves away upon close approach. Usually skittish but has become tolerant of humans in feeding situations.

Diving logistics: Los Gigantes on Tenerife is the place to encounter this species. Los Gigantes Dive Centre runs feeds twice weekly that attract up to six species of rays. Common Stingrays are the most abundant species in attendance. This feed is well worth joining.

Other diving locations submitted by readers:

References and further reading:

Reef Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.

Sharks and Rays. Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann.

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