SPECIES: TAENIURA LYMMA
IUCN REDLIST: NEAR THREATENED
Bluespotted ribbontail rays are found in shallow temperate and tropical waters over continental shelves to depths of 20 m. It lives within the benthic (sea floor), reef biome areas. The bluespotted ray can also be found upon reefs in crevasses and ledges as well as shallow sandy areas in search of prey. The bluespotted ray is found in the Indo-West Pacific region. It ranges from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Solomon Islands; north to Japan and south to northern Australia.
The Bluespotted Ribbontail Stingray usually feeds in sandy areas near to reefs in high tide. On low tide it will take refuge in ledges and crevasses to hide from predators. The role of the bluespotted ray in its ecosystem is to control species numbers below its trophic level in the food chain as a secondary. It’s known main marine predator is the Hammerhead Shark and this is where its venomous spines are sometimes used in self defense to try to deter larger carnivorous fish.
Bluespotted rays breed from late spring through the summer, and gestation can last anything from four months to a year. In courtship, males often follow females, using their sensitive ‘nose’ to detect a chemical signal emitted by the female that indicates she is receptive. Reproduction is ovoviviparous, meaning females gestate the fertlized eggs inside their body and give birth to live pups that have hatched from egg cases inside the uterus. Bluespotted rays can have up to seven pups per litter and each juvenile is born with the distinctive blue markings that mimic its parents in smaller form.
ECOSYSTEM ROLE & HUMAN BENEFITS
***Information to be added***
The bluespotted ribbontail ray is very wide ranging and common species, but it is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Redlist. The species is very attractive toward the marine aquarium fish trade and many are captured despite the difficulties of attempting to keep the ray in captivity. Habitat loss and degradation are a major issue as well for the bluespotted ribbontail ray. With a diminishing reef habitat many similar coral species are looking at extinction. There are currently no direct conservation plans for the bluespotted ribbontail ray.
One interesting fact about the bluespotted ribbontail ray is that the stinging barbs on its tail can be regenerated if broken off. The venom that is contained within the stinging barbs can be broken down by heat. Therefore, if you are stung by one of these awesome species, immediately soak the wound in hot water in order to break down the venom and reduce the pain.
** This data set was written by Luke Anning of Bournemouth University, England and edited by Stephanie Young**
***Identification of these species has been made through, photographic documentation cross referenced with external specialists and identification books. Any errors in our database will be rectified upon notification, if you feel that we have misidentified any species please help us to improve our research through our contact us page. All people involved will be acknowledge in the website and reports***
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