MANTA & EAGLE RAYS
MYLIOBATIDAE
Spotted Eagle Ray
Aetobatus narinari
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size Diet Behaviour Sex 
Dem, Pel Across wing tips to 2m Mol (Cru, Wor, Pisc) I, Sh F
 
 
Description:
Fish dorso-ventrally flattened, with greatly enlarged pectoral fins, which give them a disc-like shape. Back dark, with numerous
white spots and circular markings. However, spots may be absent, or backgound much paler in some individuals. Underside white. Head pronounced with a flattened, tapering snout, which is similar in shape to a duck's bill. Mouth on the underside of the head. Tail long and thin, with one to five venomous spines at the base.

Ecology
Coastal and semipelagic over the continental shelf from the surface to 60 m (200ft) depth. Sometimes enters lagoons and often associated with coral-reef ecosystems. Solitary or found in large schools of up to several hundred individuals (during non-breeding season).  Most of their time is spent swimming, cruising walls and sandy areas.
Has several rows of specialized, plate-like teeth within their large mandibles. Digs with its spade-like snout in the sand for molluscs. Overall diet consists of a wide variety of benthic species including polychaetes, bivalve and gastropod molluscs, cephalopods, crustaceans and teleost fishes.
During the non-breeding season, will often form large groups, which disperse as breeding season approaches.

Life Cycle:
Females are slightly larger than the males. Breed in the Summer months. Non-placental vivipary, bearing 1 to 4 pups/ litter.  Gestation has been reported ats up to 12 months and depends upon temperature. Reproductive periodicity may not be annual. These factors combine for limited reproductive output. Reported to reach sexual maturity after 4 to 6 years.

The female is chased for a period of about 30 minutes, then the male uses his teeth to grasp the fin of the female in order to
position itself under the female for copulation. The male attempts this multiple times until the female accepts and allows the male to swim under. The male then inserts the clasper into the female’s cloaca for about 60-90 seconds and then releases his hold
on the female’s fin and releases her. Mating wounds (from biting) are left on the fins of the female, especialyy on the posterior fins .
Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Ray
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