- Range depth
- 25 (high) m
- 82.02 (high) ft
- Range length
- 95 (high) cm
- 37.40 (high) in
- Average length
- 25 cm
- 9.84 in
When blue-spotted stingrays are born, they hatch out of egg cases and are pale gray or brown and are spotted with black or rusty red and white. These patterns and markings are distinct to each individual within a litter. As adults, they are olive-gray or gray-brown to yellow dorsally and white ventrally with numerous blue spots. When born, the young stingrays are about nine cm long and can grow to around 25cm as adults. The young are born out of egg cases with a soft tail that is encases in a thin layer of skin to prevent injury to the mother during birth. The skin is eventually lost and the tail is used as a protective mechanism. (Taylor, 1997)
is ovoviviparous. This means that the embryo is nourished by the yolk and the eggs are retained within the female until they hatch. The ray produces about seven live young in every litter. Each juvenile is born with the distinctive blue markings of its parents in miniature. In courtship, the male often follows the female with his acutely sensitive nose close to her cloaca in search of a chemical signal that the female will emit. Courtship usually includes some sort of nibbling or biting of the disc. The teeth of the male are used to hold the female in place during population. The male fertilizes the female via internal fertilization through the use of their claspers. The breeding season is usually in late spring through the summer and gestation can be anywhere from 4 months to a year.
Because only about seven live young are produced in each litter, this species is highly vulnerable to population collapses from overfishing, habitat loss and the pet trade. They also have a long gestation period making them even more susceptible to population collapse. (Taylor, 1997)
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding season
- late spring throught summer
- Average number of offspring
- Range gestation period
- 4 to 12 months
The lifespan ofis still unknown.
Blue-spotted stingrays may be found alone or in small groups, mostly in shallow waters over reef flats. they are rather shy and will usually swim away rapidly if disturbed by divers. When threatened, blue-spotted stingrays will use their venomous tail to inject poison. The 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. (Taylor, 1997)
Propulsion in (Rosenberger, 1999)is achieved using its pectoral fins which make up the bulk of its oval, disc shaped body. Blue-spotted stingrays have fin muscles which are found throughout the entire length of the fin. All of these muscles are active except at low speeds when they are not needed to propel the body through water.
Communication and Perception
Blue-spotted stingrays will feed on many things such as bony fish, crabs, shrimp, polychaetes and other benthic invertebrates. Since the mouth is located on the underside of the body, food is trapped by pressing the prey into the substrate with their discs. The food is then directed into the mouth by maneuvering the disc over the prey. (McEachran, 2004)
- Animal Foods
- aquatic or marine worms
- aquatic crustaceans
- other marine invertebrates
The most dangerous predator to blue-spotted stingrays are human beings. Blue-spotted stingrays are a popular ray to have in aquarium tanks. However, hammerhead shark. 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. (Taylor, 1997)is very hard to take care of in an at-home aquarium. Besides humans, the only other type of predator known to this species of stingrays is the
- Known Predators
- great hammerheads (Sphyrna mokarran)
plays an important role in their ecosystem. Taeniura lymma is a secondary consumer. It feeds on nekton such as bony fish. It also feeds on zoobenthos organisms including benthic crustaceans like crabs, shrimp/prawns, and worms such as polychaetes.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
- pet trade
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
The sting that of blue-spotted stingrays may be very painful. (McEachran, 2004)
- Negative Impacts
- bites or stings
Although this species is very wide ranging and common, it is subject to human-induced problems because of capture by inshore fisheries and its attractiveness for the marine aquarium fish trade. Another major threat to this species is the destruction of its coral reef habitat. Without a habitat in which to live, this species may be pushed to extinction along with other species of the coral reef habitat. (McEachran, 2004)
The body of (Webb, 1980)is made completely out of cartilage and contains no bone whatsoever. The stinging barbs on its tail can be regenerated if broken off. One interesting fact about the venom that is contained within the stinging barbs is that it can be broken down by heat. Therefore, if you ever encounter one of these magnificent animals and happen to get stung, immediately soak the wound in hot water in order to break down the venom and reduce the pain. Another interesting fact about is that it is one of the few species of rays that can retain their urine.
Matthew Wund (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Jennifer Miller (author), Western Maryland College, Randall L. Morrison (editor), Western Maryland College.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
- 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.
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
- 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.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
uses electric signals to communicate
union of egg and spermatozoan
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs develop within the maternal body without additional nourishment from the parent and hatch within the parent or immediately after laying.
- pet trade
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
an animal that mainly eats fish
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.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
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
Allen, T. 1996. Shadows In The Sea. New York, NY: Lyons & Burford, Publishers.
McEachran, J. 2004. "Species Summary for *Taeniura lymma*" (On-line). Accessed 11/05/04 at http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=5399&genusname=Taeniura&speciesname=lymma.
Rosenberger, L. 1999. Functional morphology of undulatory pectoral fin locomotion in the stingray taeniura lymma. Journal of Experimental Biology, 202: 3523-3539.
Taylor, M. 1997. Sharks & Rays. Sydney, AU: Time-Life Books.
Webb, 1980. Glutamine synthetase: Assimilatory roles in liver as related to urea retention in marine Chondrichthyes. Science, 208: 293-295.