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
Anterior margin of disc broadly rounded with slight
concavity before pectoral fin tip. Small point on snout. Rear margin of body
disc rounded. Dorsal fins distinct. Tail short with two equally sized dorsal
fins near tip. Small row of thorns along midline of back. Patches of small
thorns near disc margin just behind eyes. Dorsum cream/light grey with many dark
leopard-like spots and blotches. Elongated blotches around disc margin often
give the appearance of radiating lines. One pair of large, dark, oval or
teardrop shaped ocelli (eye-spots) on wings. Visible interior region of
Sand or rocks usually between 18-38m. However, enters shallow areas to deposit
egg capsules on kelp.
Abundance and distribution:
Ecuador to Central Chile.
Unknown. Probably hunts on soft substrates for mollusks and crustaceans. In
Chile, enters shallow bays in spring to deposit eggs.
Lays flattened egg capsule with very long tendrils which it wraps around kelp
Conservation Status: Data Deficient. According to the IUCN, not enough
information exists to evaluate this specie's status. However, the IUCN notes
that shorttail fanskates are probably captured as bycatch in inshore fisheries
including bottom trawls targeting crustaceans as well as recreational fishing.
Photographs: Las Tacas, Chile.
The shorttail fanskate shares its range with a number of other skate species in
Reaction to divers: Extremely tolerant.
Remains motionless even when fanned to remove sand or when gently moved.
I encountered one or two shorttail fanskates on all but one dives that I
conducted with Las Tacas Dive Resort in November. As this species is generally
found at deeper depths and may only move into shallow water to deposit eggs,
this may have been a lucky seasonal encounter that is not possible at other
times of year.