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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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YELLOWSPOTTED FANRAY

 

 

View all available Yellowspotted Fanray images in the Shark Picture Database.

 

Common English Names: Yellowspotted Fanray, Tang's Fan Ray, Yellow Spotted Fan Ray.

 

Scientific Name: Platyrhina tangi.

 

Family: Platyrhinidae - containing 2 genera and 5 described species. Thornback rays look superficially similar to guitarfishes but they are more closely related to stingrays.

 

Identification: Spade or heart shaped disc, slightly wider than long with convex anterior margins. Long, broad tail tapering into a well developed caudal lobe. Two relatively large, rounded dorsal fins beginning midway along tail. A single row of pronounced, weakly hooked thorns/tubercles runs centrally along dorsum from mid back to caudal lobe.
Dorsum uniformly light to dark brown or greyish-brown. Often with a few small, randomly positioned, dark freckles on disc. One elongated yellow spot is present in front of each eye. Two are present behind eye adjacent to spiracle. At mid back, Two pairs of yellow spots branch laterally on either side of center line forming a 'yellow cross' when viewed from above. Ventrum pale. Spiracles small - roughly eye-sized.

 

Size: Maximum recorded length at least 64cm, possibly exceeds 70cm.

 

Habitat: Little known. Seen by divers in Japan on sandy bottoms around rocky reefs at 20m.

 

Distribution: Northwestern Pacific from Northern Vietnam to Japan including Taiwan, Mainland China and South Korea. Absent from the Ryukyu Archipelago in western Japan.

 

Reproduction: Thornback rays are ovoviviparous (yolk sac viviparity). The yellowspotted fanray gives birth between August and November.

 

Conservation Status: The yellowspotted fanray has yet to be assessed by the IUCN. However, it probably faces the same fishing pressure as the closely related Chinese Fanray Platyrhina sinensis which shares much of its range. The latter has been assessed as VULNERABLE. The Chinese Fanray is taken as utilised bycatch in gillnet, coastal set-net, trawl fisheries, and almost all fishery types operating in shallow waters (Y. Wang pers. obs.). All bycatch is utilised in some areas of the speciesí range, whereas it is discarded in other areas (Y. Wang pers. obs., Yamaguchi unpublished data). Yamada et al. (2007) report that this species was formerly caught by bottom trawl fisheries in the East China Sea, but has declined both in terms of abundance and extent of occurrence. However, in Shimoda, Izu Peninsula, southern Japan (at the northern extent of this speciesí range), it is reportedly still common (S. Tanaka pers. comm.). Historical fishing pressure has been high throughout the much of its range and exploitation is continuing in many areas of this speciesí inshore habitat. For example, fishing pressure on batoids is intensive in the South China Sea. Its preference for shallow waters and slow movement mean it is easily captured in demersal fisheries and vulnerable to depletion.

 

Photographs: Tateyama in Chiba Prefecture, Southern Honshu, Japan.

 

Similar species: The closely related Chinese Fanray Platyrhina sinensis shares most of the Yellowspotted Fanray's range. It can be distinguished by the lack of pronounced tubercles behind its eyes and the row of thorns running along its midline which branches into two widely spaced lines beyond its tail base.

 

Reaction to divers: Generally easy to approach with slow movements. Fanrays rarelybolt in the presence of divers.

 

Diving logistics: This species can sometimes be found mixed in with the red stingrays at shark feeds in Tateyama, Japan. Big Fish Expeditions runs Shark Diving trips to Japan that include dives at Tateyama: Japan Shark Diving Safari

 

Citation:

Ishihara, H., Wang, Y., Tanaka, S. & Nakaya, K. 2009. Platyrhina sinensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161589A5458790. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009-2.RLTS.T161589A5458790.en. Downloaded on 19 October 2017.

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