37 photos - 16 species


 There are around 630 species.

 They are found worldwide, and some species even live in the deep sea.

Rays have a strongly flattened body

and large pectoral fins that are fused to the head. 

The mouth, nostrils and five pairs of gill slits

are located on the flattened, usually light-coloured underside.

On the upper side, there are eyes and the vent

holes through which the water enters for breathing.

Some species, such as the giant manta ray,

can reach a wingspan of 7 metres and a weight of 2 tonnes.

Aetobatus narinari

Spotted eagle ray

 Maximum length: 3.5 m Diameter: 2.3 m

Depth: 1 - 80 m

Inhabits sandy areas of reef tops and outer reef slopes.

Also in open water.

Photos 1 - 6 Johnny : Bonaire Caribbean

Photo 7 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Bathystoshia centroura

Roughtail stingray

 Diameter of the body disc without tail: 180 cm

 Depth: 0 - 25 m

They have an irregular row of spines and bumps from the centre of the back to the tail,

with numerous rows of spines on the tail, the wings and snout are pointed.

Colour: Black, grey or brown, ventral side white,

one or two venomous spines at the base of its tail.

Favours sandy areas, where it often lies on the ground covered with sand.

Not very shy, stays where it is until you get too close or harass it.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Photos 2 - 3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Himantura undulata

Honeycomp whipray

 Maximum diameter: 1.5 m

Depth: 0.3 - 75 m

Lives on sand and mud bottoms.

Often buried so that only the eyes look out.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Mobula birostris

Giant oceanic manta rey, Giant manta ray or Oceanic manta ray

 Maximum width: 6.70 m, usually around 4 m

Depth: 1 - 40 m

Pure plankton eaters.

Very popular with divers.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Photos 2 - 3 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Photos 4 - 5 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Neotrygon kuhlii

Kuhl's maskray, Blue-spotted stingray, Blue-spotted maskray 

or Kuhl's stingray

 Body disc: 50 cm

Depth: 1 - 90 m

Very long tail with white bands.

Blue spots on the body disc.

They are found on sandy areas of outer reefs and lagoons.

Often completely covered with sand, only eyes exposed.

Eats invertebrates that it finds in the sand.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi

Pastinachus sephen

Cowtail stingray

 Maximum diameter: 1.80 m

Depth: 2 - 48 m

This species can be recognised by the skin appendages on its tail.

They can be found near reefs and lagoons.

Photo 1 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Potamotrygon motoro

Ocellate river stingray, Peacock-eye stingray or Black-river stingray

 Maximum size: 80 cm

Depth: 0 - 10 m

This stingray can have up to 4 spines.

It loves sandy bottoms and lives in large rivers in South America.

It feeds on shrimps, fish, frogs, worms and snails.

Photo 1 Johnny: Oberhausen Germany ( Aquarium )

Pristis pristis

Largetooth sawfish, Common sawfish, Wide sawfish, River sawfish,

Freshwater sawfish, Leichhardts sawfish or Northern sawfish

 Maximum length: 6.50 m

Depth: 0 - 10 m

Occurs in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The saw consists of cartilage and is covered with sharp teeth

and makes up about 30 % of its body length.

It spends the first two years of its life in fresh water,

after which it migrates to salt water.

This species is also on the red list as "threatened with extinction".

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Oberhausen Germany ( Aquarium )

Pseudobatos productus

Shovelnose guitarfish

 Maximum length: females 1.70 m, males 1.20 m

Depth: 1 90 m

This ray lives individually or in small groups in shallow water near the coast.

They like sandy and muddy bays, estuaries, seagrass beds and rocky reefs. 

Diet: Worms, crabs, small fish and mussels.

They usually burrow in the sand during the day and hunt at night.

There are over 200 teeth in two rows of teeth in both jaws.

They live to be about 16 years old.

Photo 1 Johnny: Barcelona Spain ( Aquarium )

Raja clavata

Thornback ray or Thornback skate

 Maximum size: 1m

Depth: 0 - 200 metres

The thornback ray is one of the most common species of ray in the North Sea.

Its large nail spines on the top and underside of its wings are striking.

The females grow considerably larger than the males.

Thornback rays live on sandy, soft bottoms at depths of up to 200 metres.

They become sexually mature at a length of 60 - 75 cm.

Photo 1 Johnny: Oberhausen Germany ( Aquarium )

Raja microocellata

Smalleyed ray or Smalleyed skate

 Maximum size: 80 cm

Depth: 0 - 100 m

These crepuscular and nocturnal rays prefer shallow sandy bottoms in coastal waters down to a depth of 100 metres.

They feed mainly on crustaceans, but also other small invertebrates and small bottom-dwelling fish.

Photo 1 Johnny: Oberhausen Germany ( Aquarium )

Raja undulata

Undulate ray

 Maximum size: 1m

Depth: 50 - 200 metres

This ray has a typical colour coat and is therefore easy to distinguish from other rays.

The back is brownish with wavy, dark brown bands surrounded by white dots.

Photo 1 Johnny: Oberhausen Germany ( Aquarium )

Rhina ancylostomus

Bowmouth guitarfish, Shark ray or mud skate

 Maximum length: 2.70 m

Depth: 3 - 90 metres

They look like a transitional form between sharks and rays.

The fish have an elongated shark-like body, two large dorsal fins,

the first of which is in front of or directly above the ventral fins,

and a large, forked caudal fin.

Their pectoral fins are broadened like rays.

They feed on crustaceans, such as crabs and shrimps,

as well as molluscs and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Oberhausen Germany ( Aquarium )

Taeniura lymma

Bluespotted ribbontail ray

 Diameter: 90 cm

Depth: 2 - 30 m

Inhabits sand and rubble areas of coral reefs.

Often under table corals and overhangs.

Not shy.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Photos 2 - 4 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Taeniurops meyeni

Round ribbontail ray or Blotched fantail ray

Spike on the tail
Spike on the tail

 Maximum length: 3.3 m Diameter: 1.65 m

Depth: 3 - 500 m

Not aggressive, but there have been fatal accidents

because divers thought they could "ride" the animals.

They have a sting on their tail.

Resting on sand and coral bottom.

Photo 1 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Torpedo panthera

Leopard torpedo

 Maximum length: 45 cm

Depth: 0.5 - 55 m

Lives near the coral reef on sand and mud.

Normally very difficult to find as it is usually buried.

When the water gets colder in winter, it migrates into deep water.

The paired electric organ is located on the head

and is used to anaesthetise food, generating electric shocks

of up to 200 volts and several amperes.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt