Reef stingray

Species images and information provided by Encyclopedia of Life

Scientific Name:

Taeniura lymma (Forsskål, 1775)

Common Names:

reef stingray, Blue Spotted Fantail Stingray, Blue spotted fantail ray, Blue spotted lagoon ray, Blue spotted stingray, Blue-spotted fantail ray, Blue-spotted lagoon ray, Blue-spotted ray, Blue-spotted ribbontail ray, Blue-spotted stingray, Bluespotted fantail ray, Bluespotted ribbontail, Bluespotted ribbontail ray, Bluespotted ribbontail whipray, Bluespotted ribbontailray, Bluespotted stingray, Fantail ray, Lagoon ray, Lesser fan-tailed ray, Lesser fantail ray, Reef ray, Ribbon-ray fish, Ribbon-tailed stingray, Ribbontail stingray, Ribbontailed stingray, ribbontail ray

More about this critter:

Blue-spotted stingrays live alone or in small groups (6), migrating in large schools into shallow sandy areas on the rising tide in order to feed, and dispersing back into the ocean as the tide falls to shelter in the coral crevices of the reef (5) (7). Feeding most commonly occurs during the day, but sometimes also at night (6), and the diet consists largely of worms, shrimps, crabs, molluscs and small fish (5). Prey is often detected through electroreception, a system which senses the electrical fields produced by the prey (5). Not all small fish and invertebrates are potential prey, as blue-spotted stingrays can often be found at 'cleaning stations', areas of reef where large fish line up and tiny fish or shrimp pick off their dead skin and parasites (6). In courtship, males often follow females, using their acutely sensitive 'nose' to detect a chemical signal emitted by the female that indicates she is receptive. Breeding occurs from late spring through the summer, and gestation can last anything from four months to a year (5). Reproduction is ovoviviparous, meaning females give birth to live pups that have hatched from egg cases inside the uterus (6). Up to seven pups are born per litter and each juvenile is born with the distinctive blue markings of its parents in miniature (7).

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