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
A very slender bodied shark.
Head narrow. Dorsal fins much higher than anal fin. First dorsal origin over
pectoral fin base. Indented terminal margin above sub-terminal notch on
grey/tan body with many diffused black, dark grey and white irregular round and
elongated spots. Top of head from eyes to snout mostly light grey. All fin tips
white margined with a black demarcation.
Teeth with large central pointed cusp. One to two much lower pointed cusps on
each side. Greatly expanded anterior nasal flaps extend to mouth. Anterior and
posterior labial furrows long. Posterior nasal furrows longer than anterior.
Maximum length 70cm. 10-13cm at birth. Mature males 47-62cm. Mature females
and crevices in coral
reefs. Found on
shallow reefs to at least 25m (personal observation from Malapascua,
Philippines) but depth range unknown.
Abundance and distribution: A fairly common species in the
Indo-West Pacific. Pakistan and India
to southern China, Philippines, Indonesia and PNG.
by day in
holes and crevices on the reef.
Diet consists of mollusks, crustaceans and small bony fishes.
Lays paired egg cases.
Considered 'Near Threatened' by the IUCN. Although A. marmoratus is widespread
through the Indo-West Pacific, habitat destruction within its range, and
increasing fishing pressure are likely to represent significant threats. This
species may be under threat from habitat destruction by dynamite fishing,
especially in eastern Indonesia, e.g., Tanjung Luar in Lombok (W. White,
personal observation), and also maybe by coral removal in some parts of the
region for use as building materials, e.g., Candi Dasa in Bali. Fisheries
catches appear to be only minor throughout this species distribution, for
example, it represents a minor catch in artisanal fisheries in several eastern
Indonesian localities (W. White pers. obs.), and although it is probably caught
in fisheries in West Papua and other parts of its range, information is very
sparse. This species is close to the criteria of Vulnerable A2d+3d+4d due to the
high level of exploitation within its range, but is assessed as Near Threatened
due to the lack of detailed species composition data for fisheries and extent of
habitat destruction in this region.
White, W.T. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003.
Atelomycterus marmoratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version
Bugtong Batu Seamount, Malapascua Island, Philippines.
The coral catshark was originally thought to inhabit Western Australia and the
Northern Territory but sightings have now been attributed to the Australian
Marbled Catshark Atelomycterus macleayi which has smaller black spots and subtle
grey bands on a lighter grey/tan base.
Reaction to divers:
Coral catsharks generally try to retreat into crevices when closely approached.
Occasionally they may be encountered at night openly hunting on the reef. Some
divers have managed to get good images of them in that environment.
logistics: Coral catsharks can be
encountered in a number of places throughout Southeast Asia.
Sulawesi in Indonesia and the Philippines have proven to be fairly reliable.