The Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray (Taeniura lymma) is a marine (saltwater) stingray in the Dasyatidae family of stingrays. It is also known as the Bluespotted Fantail Ray, the Bluespotted Stingray, or the Lagoon Ray.
The Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray has an oval-shaped disc with electric blue spots on a greyish-yellow coloured skin. The spots vary in size. It has a pair of blue stripes on its tail. It has large, bright-yellow, protruding eyes, a rounded snout (nose), and a short, thick tail. It is mainly smooth, except for a few small thorns in the middle of its back. Its belly is white.
It is a small ray that grows to 35 centimetres (14 inches) across and 80 centimetres (31 inches) long.
It is common in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean near the shore, in tropical coral reefs, tidal pools, and lagoons. It is benthic because it is bottom-feeding, and lives on the bottom of the ocean.
It is nocturnal, feeding at night. It eats sea snails, worms, shrimp, crabs, and bony fish which it finds in and around the sandy ocean floor. Its predators include Hammerhead Sharks, Bottlenose Dolphins, and other large sea creatures.
It feeds in small social groups. When it is not feeding, it is mostly solitary, living in caves or under coral ledges.
The Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray is aplacental viviparous. The female gives birth to litters of up to 7 young, after a pregnancy of 4-12 months. The young are miniature versions of their parents, measuring about 14 centimetres (5 inches).
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM