Spotted Sting Ray
- Genus/species: Neotrygon kuhlii
- Conservation Status: Not Threatened
- Location: Tropical seas and oceans off Asia, the Red Sea and off East Africa to the Solomon Islands, north to southern Japan, and south to northern Australia.
The blue spotted sting ray is found in waters up to 250 feet deep, generally near rocky coral reefs. During high tide it moves into shallow lagoons and reefs. It is quite beautiful with its green with blue spots color. It has bright yellow eyes that are positioned to allow for a wide angle view. Above each eye are spiracles which allow the ray to breathe. The bright colors serve as a warning to its enemies for the ray’s poisonous nature. The ray has very poisonous spines at the base of its extremely long tail. The barbs or spines are two different sizes, one being very large and the other a medium-sized barb. These poisonous spines can inflict very painful wounds. When it is sensing a threat, this fish will covers itself with sand, leaving only its eyes and tail visible
The blue spotted sting ray is around 2ft in length. These fish move into shallow sandy areas to feed on mollusks, worms, shrimps, and crabs. The blue spotted sting ray has no teeth. Its mouth, which is located on its underside, has food crushing plates that are designed to crush its victim. The ray can capture its prey by pinning it down with its wing-like fins or by scooping up those that hide in the sand. Although they are very wide-ranging and common, the numbers of blue spotted sting rays are decreasing because of these fish are being captured. Moreover, widespread destruction of reef habitats is another reason for the declining population.
Did You Know?
- The blue spotted sting ray’s tail is about twice as long as its body.
- Because the ray's tail is longer than its body, it can strike its prey directly in front of it.
- The blue spotted sting ray will often go to a cleaning station to be groomed. This is an area where shrimp and tiny fish pick off dead skin and bacteria from the body of rays.
- The blue spotted sting ray normally eats during the day.