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
Redspotted catshark, Chilean catshark, Pinta roja.
A slender bodied, tan
to reddish/brown catshark with darker brown saddles and small dark brown or
black spots with occasional small off-white spots. Two saddles between dorsal
fins. Belly pale. Mouth wide. Distance between mouth and tip of snout very
short. Nasal flaps triangular.
Kelp forests, rocky reefs and mixed sandy or rocky substrates from 1 to 100 metres.
and distribution: Southeastern Pacific from Peru to
central Chile. Reasonably common in Central Chile.
redspotted catshark remains motionless tucked into crevices or hidden in
kelp during the day. Hunts over reef for crustaceans and other invertebrates.
Females produce paired egg cases with long tendrils that they attach to kelp.
(see image below) Large collections of egg capsules suggest that redspotted
catsharks aggregate to deposit their eggs en masse.
Conservation Status: The IUCN lists the red spotted catshark as 'Data
Deficient'. A bycatch species of inshore demersal trawl and longline fisheries,
however, species-specific catch information is not available. This species is a
popular laboratory animal and over-collecting for research purposes may impact
small, localised populations. Insufficient information available to assess the
species beyond Data Deficient at this time.
Citation: Lamilla, J. 2004. Schroederichthys chilensis. In: IUCN
2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>
(Top) Zapallar, Chile. (Bottom)
Las Tacas, Coquimbo, Chile.
The redspotted catshark's range overlaps at its southern extreme with the
patterned, the narrowmouth catshark can be distinguished by its proportionately
longer nose, narrower mouth and more pointed nasal flaps.
Reaction to divers:
Remains completely motionless unless threatened. May even allow divers to pick
it up without the shark reacting.
logistics: One of the
best places to dive with redspotted catsharks is at Las Tacas just south of
Coquimbo in central Chile. This shark can be encountered at most shallow sites
in the area as well as on night dives right in front of the dock of Bahia Sol
Dive Lodge. Contact Stefano Bagoni at
http://www.divechile.cl for more information.
Its likely that any inshore sites between Santiago and Coquimbo would be similarly productive.