THE ELASMODIVER SHARK AND RAY FIELD GUIDE

 

SHARK GUIDE

SHARK PICTURES

WHAT'S NEW?

SHARK BLOG

MERCHANDISE

SHARK TRIPS

SITE MAP

E-MAIL

 

 SHARK INFO

SHARK & RAY FIELD GUIDE

SHARK PICTURE DATABASE

SHARK TAXONOMY

SHARK

BIOLOGY

SHARK EVOLUTION

SHARK FACTS FOR KIDS

 

SHARK DIVING

SHARK DIVING EXPEDITIONS

SHARK DIVING 101

SHARK DIVING HOTSPOTS

SHARK DIVING STORIES

SHARK FEEDING ADVICE

SHARK

ATTACKS

 

CONSERVATION

SHARKS UNDER THREAT

PREDATORS IN PERIL

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

SHARK PHOTO TIPS

DAILY SHARK IMAGES

 

RESOURCES

SHARK NEWS

SHARK LINKS

SHARK BOOKS

SHARK FILMS

SHARK TERMS

 

WEB STUFF

CONTACT ELASMODIVER

ABOUT ELASMODVR

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

_

 

 

 

SPOTTED WOBBEGONG

Spotted Wobbegong

Photograph copyright of Andy Murch all rights reserved.

More Spotted Wobbegong Shark Pictures

Common Names: Spotted wobbegong.

Latin Name: Orectolobus maculatus

Family: Orectolobidae  

Identification: Dorsum covered in small irregular brown circles edged with broken light grey or white lines that are not also edged in black (see Banded Wobbegong for comparison). Circular patterns overlay a tan to mid brown base colour with 8 or 9 darker saddles starting in front of the eyes and extending to the tip of the tail. No warty tubercles on head or body.

No dermal lobes (skin flaps) on chin; nasal barbell branched. 6 to 10 dermal lobes split into three pre-orbital groups (below and in front of eyes) on each side of head; Pre-orbital lobes of roughly uniform length. Two post-spiracular groups broad based with branched tips.

Size: 320cm maximum. Recorded size at maturity of 60cm may refer to different species; perhaps the newly described Dwarf Spotted Wobbegong?   

Habitat:  Temperate rocky reefs and bays. Also seagrass and estuaries, tide pools and on sand. Intertidal to 110m. 

Abundance and distribution: Southern Australia; New South Wales to Western Australia. Reports from Japan are probably misidentifications.

IUCN Red List Status: Near threatened.

Behavior:  An ambush predator. Remains motionless blending with reef structure until small fishes swim within striking range. Then, rapidly opens mouth sucking in its prey.  Actively hunts at night for octopus, crabs, and other sharks.

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous. Breeds in NSW in July. Captive males known to fight during the mating season.

Observations: Has been recorded lumbering over rocks in extremely shallow water with back completely exposed.

Photographs: Southwest Rocks and Green Island, NSW, Australia.

Similar species: There are presently 8 described species and a few undescribed species of wobbegongs. Most can be distinguished by barbell configuration and markings but to the untrained eye wobbegongs may look almost identical. The closely related ornate wobbegong does not possess the distinctive light circles that are present in the spotted wobbegongs markings. As of early 2008 the Spotted Wobbegong has been identified as consisting of perhaps three unique species that were until now grouped together. More information will follow once it becomes available.

Reaction to divers: Remains at rest relying on camouflage unless harassed. Has been reported to have bitten divers that got too close to its mouth even when not disturbed.

Diving logistics: The Spotted Wobbegong is a commonly encountered species along the coast of New South Wales. During the fall I found it to be particularly abundant at Julian Rocks, close to Byron Bay. Julian Rocks is serviced by two dive shops in Byron and although the boats tend to get busy, the site is large enough and so full of wobbegongs that there are more than enough sharks to go around. Julian rocks also supports Dwarf Ornate Wobbegongs and Blind Sharks. During the summer months it is also the southern end or the Zebra Shark's range.

Further south, Southwest Rocks also contains many Spotted Wobbegong Sharks but this area is better known for its Banded Wobbegongs.

Other diving locations submitted by readers:

References and further reading:

Sharks of the World - Leonard Compagno et al. Princeton Field guides.

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

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

HOME     LINKS     TAXONOMY      UNDER THREAT     BOOKS     CONTACT

 

 SHARK TRIPS

Sawfish Diving
 

MORE EXPEDITIONS

 

 

 

SPONSORS

 

ADVERTISERS

 

ELASMO-BLOGS

SharkPictures   Shark & Ray Field Guide   SharkPhotography   SharkDiving   Taxonomy   Evolution   Biology   SharkAttacks   Books   Shark Movies   Stories   Extinction   Protection   Updates   SiteMap

 

CONTACT ELASMODIVER

elasmodiver@gmail.com

250-588-8267

P.O.Box 8719 Station Central, Victoria, BC., V8W 3S3, Canada