TAXONOMY

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Order: Myliobatiformes (Stingrays)
Family: Dasyatidae (Stingrays)

Genus/species: Taeniura lymma

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: large bright blue spots on a grey-brown to yellow, olive-green or reddish-brown oval, elongated disc with lateral blue side-stripes along the tail. The snout is rounded and angular. Disc diameter to 25 cm (9.8 inches).

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific around coral reefs and sandy bottoms to a debt of 20 meters (66 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Prey is often detected through electroreception, a system which senses the electrical fields produced by the prey. Within the mouth are two plates, which are used for crushing mollusks, worms, shrimps, and crabs.

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REPRODUCTION: Ovoviviparous; the egg-shell is weakly formed and young hatch inside the female; they are nourished by their yolk sac and then ‘born’ live.

PREDATION: The hammerhead shark uses the cartilaginous projections form the side of their heads to pin them down to the bottom of the substrate while taking bites from the stingray’s disc. The hammerhead is able to avoid being stung by the poisonous spines on the rays tail by pinning the stingray down.

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CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List: Near threatened

REMARKS: At the tip of the tail are two sharp venomous spines (can be regenerated) which permit this ray to strike at enemies forward of its head. Venom is produced and delivered into narrow groves running lengthwise along the underside of the stinger. The entire structure is covered by a thin layer of skin which, when broken, releases its venom into its victim.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Reef Lagoon 2016

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Taeniura-lymma.html

Ron’s WordPress shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-16f

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608440813109/

ARKive  www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/18360786662/in/album-72…