The Spotted Ray (Raja montagui) is a marine (saltwater) ray in the Rajidae family of stingrays. It is also known as the Sweet Ray. It is related to the Skate.
The Spotted Ray is a rhomboid shape – like a kite – with rounded wing-tips. It is brownish-grey with numerous small dark spots. Its upper surface is smooth when young and prickly when it matures. Its underbelly is smooth and white. It has two equal-sized dorsal fins at the end of its tail.
It measures about 61-85 centimetres (24-33 inches) in length.
The Spotted Ray is native to the Eastern Atlantic Ocean including parts of the Mediterranean Sea. It prefers the continental shelf nears the coast, instead of deep waters. It also prefers oceans with sandy or mud bottoms.
It buries itself in the sandy soil to avoid predators.
It feeds on the bottom, so it is a benthic feeder. It feeds mainly on crustaceans, such as shrimp and crabs. It also eats worms, cephalopods, and small fish.
The Spotted Ray is oviparous. The female lays eggs in oblong capsules in the sandy ocean floor. The eggs hatch into young, called pups, after 5-6 months. The pups are about 11-12 centimetres (4 inches) at birth.
[Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM