globally distributed throughout tropical and warm temperate waters as far north as North Carolina, U.S.A. in the summer and as far south as Brazil. This species has also been known to inhabit the red sea and oceanic waters surrounding the Hawaiian islands. Its latitudinal range spans from 43°N to 32°S. (Florida Museum of Natural History, 2005; Kyne, et al., 2006; Ochumba , 1988; Robins and G.C., 1986)(spotted eagle ray) is
- Other Geographic Terms
- Habitat Regions
- saltwater or marine
- Other Habitat Features
- Range depth
- 1 to 80 m
- 3.28 to 262.47 ft
- Average depth
- 60 m
- 196.85 ft
- Range mass
- 230 (high) kg
- 506.61 (high) lb
- Range length
- 330 (high) cm
- 129.92 (high) in
- Average length
- 180 cm
- 70.87 in
- Breeding season
- breeds during summer.
- Range number of offspring
- 1 to 4
- Average number of offspring
- Range gestation period
- 8 to 12 months
- Average gestation period
- 12 months
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 4 to 6 years
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 4 to 6 years
Other than the in-utero protection and yolk sac a mother provides her young prior to birth, there is no information available regarding parental care in.
- Parental Investment
- female parental care
There is no information available regarding the average life span of.
There is no information available regarding the average home range size of.
Communication and Perception
As with all cartilaginous fishes, has specialized electrosensory organs commonly referred to as Ampullae of Lorenzini. These sensory organs consists of jelly-filled pores that create an electrosensory network along the snout, which increases the sensitivity of to prey movement, as muscle contractions create an electrical pulse. In general, elasmobranchs have excellent vision and olfactory perception, which help them avoid predators and detect prey. In addition, all fish have a lateral line system that allows them to sense changes in pressure and temperature in the surrounding environment. There is no information available regarding intraspecific communication in . (Florida Museum of Natural History, 2005)
Primary prey of crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms and polychaete worms. It is also known to occasionally consume smaller fish as well. When a prey item is captured, crushes it between the upper and lower dental plates. Prior to ingestion, it uses 6 to 7 rows of papillae located on the roof of the mouth to remove indigestible items (e.g., shell and bone). ("Coral Reef Creatures", 2005; Florida Museum of Natural History, 2005; Kyne, et al., 2006)consists of
- Animal Foods
- aquatic or marine worms
- aquatic crustaceans
Silvertip sharks and great hammerheads, are important predators of spotted eagle rays. Sharks have also been reported to follow spotted eagle rays during the birthing season in order to feed on newborn pups. Similar to other cartilaginous fishes, spotted eagle rays have a network of electrosensory organs on their snout that helps them detect potential predators. In addition, all fish have a lateral line system that allows them to detect changes in temperature and pressure in their immediate environment. (Florida Museum of Natural History, 2005)
Spotted eagle rays are predators of a variety of marine invertebrates and are important prey for a number of shark species. Information regarding parasites specific to this species is limited, however, ectoparasites such as marine leeches, are thought to be common. Endoparasites such as trematodes and tapeworms, are common as well. (Florida Museum of Natural History, 2005)
- trematodes, (Thaumatocotyle pseudodasybatis)
- marine leech, (Branchellion torpedinis)
- tapeworms, (Acanthobothrium monski)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Although spotted eagle rays are sometimes targeted for their meat, detailed accounts of captures are limited. (Kyne, et al., 2006)
- Positive Impacts
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Spotted eagle rays are capable of stinging humans with their venomous spine, which occasionally results in death. There are a few documented cases of spotted eagle rays jumping out of the water and onto boats. (Kyne, et al., 2006)
- Negative Impacts
- bites or stings
elasmobranchs are protected in marine reserves surrounding the Maldives that attract ecotourists interested in marine wildlife. Finally, cannot be harvested, possessed, landed, purchased, sold or exchanged in Florida. (Kyne, et al., 2006)is protected in Australia, the Maldives, and Florida. Much of its geographic range in Australia's coastal waters includes the Great Barrier Reef, a third of which is protected against fishing. In addition, the use of turtle exclusion devices is mandatory in prawn trawl fisheries of Northern Australia, which likely decreases by-catch. The export of rays and ray skins was banned in the Maldives in 1995 and 1996, respectively. In addition,
tom pederson (author), Augsburg College, Kevin Potts (editor), Augsburg College, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
- Atlantic Ocean
the body of water between Africa, Europe, the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), and the western hemisphere. It is the second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific Ocean.
- Pacific Ocean
body of water between the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), Australia, Asia, and the western hemisphere. This is the world's largest ocean, covering about 28% of the world's surface.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
- brackish water
areas with salty water, usually in coastal marshes and estuaries.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
having a worldwide distribution. Found on all continents (except maybe Antarctica) and in all biogeographic provinces; or in all the major oceans (Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
uses electric signals to communicate
an area where a freshwater river meets the ocean and tidal influences result in fluctuations in salinity.
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
eats mollusks, members of Phylum Mollusca
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
reproduction in which eggs develop within the maternal body without additional nourishment from the parent and hatch within the parent or immediately after laying.
An aquatic biome consisting of the open ocean, far from land, does not include sea bottom (benthic zone).
structure produced by the calcium carbonate skeletons of coral polyps (Class Anthozoa). Coral reefs are found in warm, shallow oceans with low nutrient availability. They form the basis for rich communities of other invertebrates, plants, fish, and protists. The polyps live only on the reef surface. Because they depend on symbiotic photosynthetic algae, zooxanthellae, they cannot live where light does not penetrate.
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
an animal which has an organ capable of injecting a poisonous substance into a wound (for example, scorpions, jellyfish, and rattlesnakes).
uses sight to communicate
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Bester, C. 2008. "Florida Museum of Natural History" (On-line). Accessed April 22, 2011 at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/seray/seray.html.
Breder, C., D. Rosen. 1966. Modes of reproduction in fishes. Neptune City, New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications.
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Compagno, L., D. Ebert, M. Smale, London. 1989.
Guide to the sharks and rays of southern Africa. London: New Holland.
Florida Museum of Natural History, 2005. "2005 Biological profiles: spotted eagle ray" (On-line). Accessed April 21, 2011 at www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/SERay/SERay.htmlhttp://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/SERay/SERay.html.
Humann, P. 1989. Reef Fish Identification. Jacksonville, Florida: New World Publications Inc..
Kyne, P., H. Ishihara, S. Dudley, W. White. 2006. "Aetobatus narinari" (On-line). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed April 24, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/39415/0.
Ochumba , . 1988. The distribution of skates and rays along the Kenyan coast. Journal of East African History and Nature, 78: 192.
Robins, C., R. G.C.. 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Boston, U.S.A.: Houghton Mifflin Company.