| Ecological Descriptors
|Cru (Pisc, Mol, Wor), (Noct)
Fish dorso-ventrally flattened, with a rounded snout and rounded pectoral fins, which give them a disc-like shape. Back yellowish brown with numerous pale and dark spots and blotches. The color can change dramatically. Mouth on the underside of the head. Tail stout with a venomous spine near the end.
Small stingray with disc width up to 40cm. Found along sandy beaches up to the water's edge, and especially in sandy areas in and around coral reefs to depths of 160m (550ft). Raises front end of disc to attract prey seeking shelter. Posesses electrical sensors (ampullae of Lorenzini) to detect the electric field given off by prey. If the prey is buried, the stingray positions itself above the prey to extract it from the substrate, and then crush and consume it with the use of the ventrally located mouth containing approximately thirty teeth.
Able to change colour via to pigments in chromatophore cells, allowing them to match the environment to avoid predators as well as to deceive prey.
Usually inactive during the day, but with crepuscular (dawn and duck) heightened activity. Feeds on shrimps, probably also on small fishes, clams, and worms
Birth takes place in seagrass beds in the Summer. Non-placental vivipary with litters of 2 to 5 live pups, following a gestation period of 5-6 months. The foetal nutrition for this species is matrotrophic, i.e. the developing embryo initially receives nutrition from the egg's yolk and later by uterine milk secreted by the mother.
During mating, the male bites the female disc margin to allow for the proper orientation, where the male aligns himself abdomen to abdomen and the clasper is then inserted into the female's cloaca.
(C) Graham Edgar