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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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GORGONA GUITARFISH

 

View all available Gorgona Guitarfish Pictures

Common English Names: Gorgona guitarfish, white-spotted guitar shark.

 

Latin Name: Rhinobatos prahli

Family: Rhinobatidae

Identification: Long, pointed snout. Pectoral fin posterior margins convex. Body behind pectoral fins tapers into a thick tail topped by two well developed dorsal fins of roughly equal size. Caudal fin triangular with indistinct lower lobe. Dorsal color variable but mostly pale or sandy brown/grey with indistinct large darker blotches and scattered small white spots sometimes ringed in dark brown. Ventrum pale with dark or dusky margin on pectorals, snout and tip of tail. Bold orange-yellow coloration usually visible in front of eyes. Rear border of spiracles have two visible folds.

Size: Maximum length 81cm.

Habitat: Intertidal Inshore waters from 15-70m. On sandy bottoms often adjacent to rocky reefs.

Abundance and distribution: Restricted to the Eastern Pacific from Western Costa Rica to Northern Peru. Considered uncommon but relatively abundant around Coiba Island in Panama.

Behavior: Lays on or partially buried in sand when not foraging for food.

Reproduction: Guitarfishes are ovoviviparous (yolk sac viviparity). The female's uterus is lined with tiny club shaped villi that provide nutrients for the young as they develop. Litters number up to 6 in Atlantic Guitarfish.

IUCN Red List Status: The gorgona guitarfish (Rhinobatos prahli) has not yet been evaluated by the IUCN. However, Surveys need to better document the distribution and abundance of the species, and an assessment of catches needs to be made for any fishing activities which potentially take this species, including shrimp trawl fisheries operating off Panama and elsewhere within its range. The type locality is part of the Gorgona National Natural Park in Colombia and this should afford the species some level of protection.

Photographs: Isla de Coiba, Panama.

Similar species: The gorgona guitarfish shares its range with four other species of similar shape. All can be distinguished by body coloration as no other species have small white spots.

Reaction to divers: Generally easy to approach with careful slow movements. May slowly move away or bolt upon very close examination.

Diving logistics: The easiest place to find gorgona guitarfish is at Coiba Island in Panama. A number of dive shops run single or multi day trips to the island from the village of Santa Catalina. Scuba Coiba is a popular choice.

The island itself is a protected park with no hotels or restaurants but it is possible to stay in a basic dormitory at the ranger station.

The best time of year to find this and other species of guitarfish at Coiba is during February and March when deep water upwellings flush the island with very cold water. During other times, lucky divers may still be able to see the occasional guitarfish at deeper dive sites (30m+) below the thermocline.

 

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