I’m not saying eat them, merely going with the ‘sea pancake’ theme. Breakfast items… pancakes… get it?
I’m funny. Laugh.
These stingrays are usually about 42 cm (17 in) and 70 cm (28 in) in length. They also sport a very long tail that is armed with two venomous spine at the base of said tail (Pro Tip: stingray shuffle). The barbs on the stingray vary in spine size.
While their dramatic coloration is fascinating, one of my favorite parts of these animals are their eyes: wide and bright yellow, they are positioned in such a way that allows them to see more around them (the better to see you with, my dear…). They usually live alone, but sometimes are seen in small groups. You can definitely see them because they don’t bury themselves in the sand like other rays.
They are found near rocky, coral reefs in the tropics, also known to reside in lagoons, reef flats and sandy bottoms up to 90 m (295 m) deep.
The blue spotted stingray is oviviparous, and has an annual reproductive cycle. They are found in northern Australia and the Indian Ocean, as well as the continental waters of Asia. They are offered protection from coral reef destruction in Marine Parks, as well as Ramsar Sites (i.e. the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Corio Bay’s Area Ramsar site, respectively). They are harmed by pollution and fall victim to seine boats. They are actually the second most caught species out of sharks, skates and rays (about 700 kg or 1,500 lb per boat in 2006-2007).
Hammerhead sharks love to feast on these sharks, with them playing “pin the prey on the seafloor” with the rays… oh, the irony. Oh, and cool fact, orca whales may also eat the juveniles. Not to mention the PARASITES (which range from tapeworms to flatworms to flukes).
Even with ALL we know about them, there is still a lot to be found out about these critters, which is why the IUCN has listed them as “Data Deficient:” (DD).
Have you seen these guys while diving?