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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:

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Shark picture - green sawfish

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MARBLED RIBBONTAIL RAY / BLOTCHED STINGRAY

marbled stingray

Photograph copyright Andy Murch

View all available Marble Ray Pictures in the Shark Pictures Database

Common Names: Marble ray, Marbled ribbontail ray, Marbled fantail ray, Blotched ribbontail ray, Blotched fantail ray

Latin Name: Taeniura meyeni,  Synonyms: Taeniurops meyeni, Taeniura melanospilos.

Family: Dasyatidae.

Identification: Rounded disc grey with dense covering of black spots.

Size: Maximum disc width 1.6m

Habitat: Sandy bays, rocky and coral reefs, estuaries, and lagoons. To 439m.

Abundance and distribution: Throughout the east and west pacific and from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Very common around the Galapagos and Cocos Island. 

Behavior: Rests on sand. Forages for bivalves, shrimps, crabs and bottom fishes.

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous. litter up to 7.

Observations: Scott Michael notes a report of one Marbled ray killing a diver with its barb.

Conservation Status: the IUCN lists the Marbled stingray as VULNERABLE. Found inshore to a depth of 439 m. Little is known of its biology, although litter size is known to be small (up to seven young). There is also little information on threats and fishery catches throughout much of the species' range, but given the intense fishing pressure known to be on large batoid species in areas such as Southeast Asia, the particular vulnerability of the species to various fishing methods, its limited life history characteristics and the general declining health of coral reef systems (its main habitat) throughout its Indo-West Pacific distribution, the species is assessed globally as Vulnerable. In Australia, the species is considered Least Concern due to protection afforded in marine parks and the effective use of Turtle Exclusion Devices in northern Australian prawn trawl fisheries, which should limit the catch of the species there. Similarly, it is assessed as Least Concern in the Maldives where the species has a high ecotourism value and is thus afforded protection through the prohibition of the export of rays and ray products.

Photographs: Cocos Island (Costa Rica).

Similar species: The wide distribution of the marbled ribbontail ray makes it impractical to compare with all other stingrays within its range. Its round body disc and blotched appearance are key characteristics to aid in identification.

Reaction to divers: Moves away upon close approach.  

Diving logistics: Probably the best encounters available with this ray are at Cocos Island off of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and in the Galapagos. At certain times at these locations (probably related to mating) hundreds of rays gather together and can be spotted on a single dive. Diving at Cocos is strictly liveaboard only with two operators presently running 1 to 2 week trips. See the link to the Undersea Hunter and Inula Diving on the Links page.

References and Citations:

Kyne, P.M. & White, W.T. 2006. Taeniurops meyeni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T60162A12300696. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2006.RLTS.T60162A12300696.en .

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