Not just a
huge collection of
Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few
chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web
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.
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
Aetobatidae. Containing the single genus 'aetobatus'. Recently elevated to full
family status. Previously considered part of the family myliobatidae.
A large eagle ray with a greyish-black or
covered in white spots or small dark centered circles -
ocelli. Ventral surface mostly white. Sometimes with dark mottling towards wing
tips. Disc rhomboidal, wing-like and mildly falcate.
Anterior disc margins almost straight. Posterior margins mildly concave near
free tip and mildly convex near pelvic fin insertion. Prominent square head extends forward of pectoral
fins level with the eye. Rostral lobe (snout) wide and moderately long. Caudal fins
shorter and wider than in other spotted eagle rays, extending rearward beyond pectoral margin. Very long,
whip like tail often broken off part way. 1 or more tail spines. Mouth located ventrally. Teeth
plate-like. Nasal curtain (upper lip) large, fringed and deeply notched
span to at least 230cm.
Reefs and seamounts, sand flats and bays.
Eastern Pacific from the Sea of Cortez to
Ecuador including Cocos Island, Malpelo Island and the Galapagos Islands.
plowing its pointed rostral lobe through loose sand and silt and by sucking
small fishes from the substrate. Diet consiste mainly of bivalves plus shrimps,
polychaetes and fishes.
the Pacific spotted eagle ray has not yet been assessed by the IUCN.
However, when it was considered part of the Aetobatus narinari complex, it was
listed as NEAR THREATENED.
in the Eastern Pacific is often high. Illegal shark fishing is rife in some
areas; especially around offshore seamounts where policing is difficult.
Top image - Malpelo Island, Columbia. Bottom image -
Isla Iguana, Panama.
Recent genetic, morphological and parasitic study
has split the spotted eagle ray into three species that can be identified easily
by range. The spotted eagle ray Aetobatus ocellatus is present in the
Indo-West/Central Pacific region. The whitespotted eagle ray Aetobatus
narinari is confined to the
tropical Atlantic including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, and the
Pacific eagle ray inhabits the tropical Eastern Pacific coast and Galapagos
Further studies may
eventually split the central and western populations of A.ocellatus into two
Reaction to divers:
shy and hard to approach. Easier to get close to when they are preoccupied with feeding.
Very common around offshore islands.
Among other places, Pacific spotted eagle rays can
be seen schooling at Isla Malpelo off the coast of Panama.
Dudgeon, C.L., Ishihara, H., Dudley, S.F.J. & White, W.T. 2016. Aetobatus
ocellatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016:
Rays of the
World - Last, White, de Carvalho, Seret, Stehmann, and Naylor. CSIRO.