Viewing: Sharks & Rays

Oct 28

October 28, 2019

A Study of Melanism in the Black Manta Rays of the Indo-Pacific

A Study of Melanism in the Black Manta Rays of the Indo-Pacific by Steve Reynolds Melanism is “darkening of body tissues caused by excessive production of melanin, especially as a form of colour variation in animals”. I know that black manta rays in the Indo-Pacific does not relate to South Australian marine life at all, but I read a report... Read more

Posted in Bony fishes, Sharks & Rays | By

Sep 26

September 26, 2019

Species sighted at Witton Bluff & Christies Reef

Species sighted at Witton Bluff & Christies Reef by Steve Reynolds As reported in My Early Diving Days , Witton Bluff is the high point on the coast between Port Noarlunga and Christies Beach. It is named after the 1839 wreck of the David Witton. I did my first sea snorkel there in January 1978. I returned there later that year with... Read more

Posted in Algae, Bony fishes, Citizen Science, Coastal species, Dive Reports, intertidal zone, Marine invertebrates, Nudibranchs, Plants, sea urchins, Sharks & Rays, Species lists | By

Apr 4

April 4, 2018

The Removal of Shark Parasites

I recently saw some film footage on an episode of David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet II” showing several silky sharks, Carcharhinus falciformis, seemingly scraping parasites off of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus. It occurred to me that this was a form of fish cleaning to add to my growing list. I found confirmation of what I had seen on “Blue Planet... Read more

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Apr 4

April 4, 2018

The Lifespan and Maximum Length of Grey Nurse Sharks

According to the Facebook posting at , a tagged 2.5 metre grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus, caught by a recreational fisher in WA had been caught and released by Fisheries scientists 23 years earlier. Back in 1995, the shark was nearly 1.9 metres long and it was estimated to be four years old. This would mean that the shark... Read more

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Jan 15

January 15, 2018

More About Tropical Fish Cleaners (esp. re Manta Rays as hosts)

A couple of things this week have spurred me on to write a couple of additional things about “Tropical Fish Cleaners and Their Mimics”. It started with a photo of a Bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, cleaning in the mouth of a giant moray, Gymnothorax javanicus, in Egypt (the Red Sea) on The Global Diving Community Facebook page.  It had... Read more

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Dec 5

December 5, 2017

Port Jackson Shark Aggregations

Recent aggregations of Port Jackson sharks at both Port Noarlunga and Aldinga created much interest in this annual event. I was encouraged to review past articles that were published in our newsletters back in 2006. Our September 2006 newsletter included this article: – “Port Jackson Shark Congregations” by Steve Reynolds Large numbers of Port Jackson Sharks, Heterodontus portusjacksoni, will congregate... Read more

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Nov 16

November 16, 2017

Great, scalloped or smooth? How to identify a hammerhead shark

As a South Australian snorkeler, typically drawn to shallow, inshore waters, I haven’t had first-hand contact with hammerhead sharks. As a child I found them fascinating; their distinctive T-shaped heads an apparent freak of evolution. In 2014 my interest in hammerhead sharks was renewed. That year, Western Australia introduced a shark culling policy in response to a number of human... Read more

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Aug 8

August 8, 2017

Jean and “Kitty” Whyte (Daughter of shark attack victim died exactly 77 years to the day later)

“Kitty” Whyte was SA’s first known shark attack victim. In March 1926, she had been giving swimming lessons to some children at Brighton jetty when she was attacked by a 3-4m shark She was subsequently rescued by two men in a boat, but she apparently died on the beach.  I previously documented Kitty’s death in two past MLSSA Newsletter issues... Read more

Posted in Achievements, Sharks & Rays | By

Jun 12

June 12, 2017

Shovelnose Stingarees

Fish identification can be tricky at the best of times. Then there are often new species that were not included in the old fish books. And the scientific names of species are often changing, and even changing back again. I recently revisited my 2016 article titled “Same Ray Seen Two Months Apart” (It can be found at It was... Read more

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Jan 9

January 9, 2016

Same Ray Seen Two Months Apart

I believe that I saw the same stingray (or stingaree) at Port Noarlunga reef on two separate dives two months apart. During my dive there on 7th November 2015, I took these photos of a ray just right of the jetty:- It seemed to me that part of the ray’s tail was missing. Two months later, on 6th January 2016,... Read more

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