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WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

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:

WHAT'S NEW?

Shark picture - green sawfish

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Tiger Catshark

 

Common Names: Tiger Catshark.

Latin Name: Halaelurus natalensis

Family: Scyliorhinidae

Identification: Yellow/tan body with ten dark saddles with white/pale borders and reddish brown centers. Second saddle (behind eyes) is not joined at the top. No spots. Head broad. Snout slightly upturned. Eyes raised slightly above head.

Size: Maximum 50cm. At maturity: males 35-45cm, females 37-50cm.

Habitat: Sandy bays sometimes adjacent to reefs. Surf line to 114m.

Distribution: South Africa. False Bay eastwards to Southern Mozambique.

Diet and Behavior: Predominately bony fishes. The tiger catshark's diet also includes crustaceans, polychaete worms, cephalopods and small elasmobranchs.

Reproduction: Oviparous. Upto 9 egg cases per oviduct. Egg cases laid when embryos are close to hatching.

Conservation Concerns: Listed by the IUCN as 'Data Deficient'. Although it is not a targeted species, it is caught by bottom trawlers as discarded bycatch and also taken by sports anglers with rod and reel. Insufficient information available to assess this species beyond Data Deficient and monitoring of abundance and changes in fishing pressure is required.

Citation: Robinson, L. 2004. Halaelurus natalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>

Photographs: Filmed off Millers Point in False Bay, South Africa.

Similar species: In the western part of its range, the tiger catshark is sometimes mistaken for the puffadder shyshark. The puffadder has a vaguely similar colouration but between its saddles it has many tiny spots.

In the eastern part of the tiger catshark's range it is often confused with the lined catshark Halaelurus lineatus. This species is almost identical in shape but has less distinct saddles that fade out at the bottom and a covering of fine spots.

 

Reaction to divers: May be quite curious around spearfishing activities but otherwise generally quite shy but appoachable.

Diving logistics:

Tiger catsharks are rarely seen by divers. In Cape Town this shark is occasionally seen by divers swimming over sand. One documented case of a tiger catshark showing up at a catshark feed near Miller Point in False Bay. This shark is probably more common at dive sites further east. If you see this shark please let us know at Elasmodiver.

 

Other diving locations submitted by readers: 

None.

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