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 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
Names: Whitespotted Bamboo
Shark or Bambooshark
Elongated grey/brown body with 8 or 9 irregular dark saddles. Small light spots
on flanks. Anal fin set far back on long thick
tail. Slight scalloping or lateral ridges on trunk. Snout bluntly rounded. Short
barbells extend from mouth. Spiracle same size as, and positioned below and
slightly behind eye.
Maximum length 95cm. 9-12cm at birth.
reefs - a secretive reef dweller.
and distribution: Indo Pacific. Madagascar, India, and South East Asia
as far south as Java. East to the Philippines and Japan.
by day in
for bony fishes and crustaceans.
Considered 'Near Threatened' by the IUCN. The majority of its distribution is
under substantial and generally unregulated fishing pressure, and this bamboo
shark is landed and utilised for human consumption in nearly all countries
within its range. It is also prized for the aquarium trade as it survives well
for long periods in captivity. Furthermore, pressure on coral reef systems is
high over much of its range, with the amount of available habitat for this and
similar species being reduced due to extensive degradation/destruction of coral
reefs through practices such as dynamite fishing and pollution from terrestrial
runoff. Given human population increases, habitat degradation and continued,
increasing exploitation of marine resources in the region, the conservation
status of this coral reef species is of concern, warranting a Near Threatened
assessment. Lack of detailed catch and aquarium trade data precludes a higher
threat listing at this time, but the species should be carefully monitored
throughout its range, particularly as the threats described are likely to
continue to increase.
P.M. & Burgess, G.H. 2006. Chiloscyllium plagiosum. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>
Gato Island, Philippines.
The whitespotted bamboo shark shares its range with a number of other bamboo
sharks all of which are easily recognizable by their patterns.
Reaction to divers:
May be approached with non-threatening movements but generally very shy and wary
of divers. When discovered under ledges, the whitespotted bamboo shark usually
tries to wedge itself deeper. If no better cover is available, it will bolt for
another hiding place.
logistics: The whitespotted bamboo shark is a common but
rarely seen shark inhabiting many popular dive sites in Southeast Asia. Near
Malapascua in the Philippines it can be found under ledges around Gato Island.