Blue-spotted ray(Taeniura lymma)
The blue spotted st ingray(Taeniura lymma) is a species of fish in the spotted stingray(Taeniura) genus in the stingray family (Dasyatidae).
Blue-spotted rays reach a body length of 70 cm. The almost circular, lenticular body is, as with all rays, strongly flattened. They have an arrow-shaped tail, which is as long as the body. This tail houses the two venomous spines. On the yellowish upper side of the animals are the blue dots that give them their name, which merge into blue stripes on the tail. For camouflage, the animals are able to regulate the intensity of the conspicuous blue markings. The underside is also yellowish, but with white spots.
Blue-spotted rays live in the Red Sea and in the Indo-Pacific region as far as Japan and Australia.
Blue spotted rays are typical inhabitants of coral reefs. There they prefer soft sandy bottoms on the sandy plateau and the caves in the reef. They burrow into the sand for camouflage. They are also often found on the reef top, where they bask in the sun in the shallow water. Blue-spotted rays live between the sea surface and water depths of up to 40 m.
The animals search for their food, which consists of molluscs, shrimps and worms, at night or at high tide.
Blue spotted rays are ovoviviparous (viviparous). In one litter there are up to seven young.
Blue spotted rays and humans
Towards humans, blue-spotted rays are shy and not aggressive. However, accidents with blue spotted rays are known. The animals often lie well hidden in the sand near the beach. If bathers then step on the animals, they defend themselves with their poisonous spines. Snorkelers in very shallow water are also at risk, as the animals may mistake the snorkeler’s large outline for a predator and then seek to defend themselves accordingly. The venom of the blue spotted stingray is not fatal to humans unless they are allergic. However, the sting is very painful. Danger comes from the spines themselves, which are very sharp and quite large. With these, the ray can also injure internal organs, especially for snorkelers in shallow water.
Blue-spotted rays are intensively hunted as food fish and also for aquaristics. This, along with the loss and degradation of its coral reef habitat, means that its population situation is likely to deteriorate. The World Conservation Union IUCN has placed the blue-spotted stingray on the Red List ofThreatened Species and classifies it asNear Threatened (Near Threatened).
- Alberto Siliotti and A., The Fishes of the Red Sea, Memofish Book, Geodia Publishing House, Verona, 2002, ISBN 88-87177-43-0
- Taeniura lymma in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009. submitted by: Compagno, L.J.V., 2005. retrieved 4 March 2010.
– Collection of images, videos and audio files
- Blue-spotted ray on Fishbase.org (English)