fishes text index | photo index
Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Order Rajiformes > Family Dasyatidae
Blue-spotted fantail ray
Taeniura lymma
Family Dasyatidae
updated Nov 13

Where seen? This beautiful stingray is sometimes encountered on sandy areas and in coral rubble near living reefs on some of our shores. It is often also seen by divers. Sadly, it is also sometimes encountered trapped in a drift net. It is considered possibly the most abundant ray in coral reefs in our region.

Features: Grows to about 30cm in diameter, those seen 15-20cm. Body oval with a rounded snout. Body colour brown, grey, yellow, olive-green to reddish brown; with lots of obvious bright blue spots. Tail long rather thick and broad with two blue stripes along the length. There is a broad skin fold under the tail, so it is sometimes called the Blue-spotted ribbontail ray. It has one or two venomous spines near the middle of the tail.

What does it eat? The ray moves into shallow sandy areas with the rising tide to forage for snails and clams, worms, shrimps and crabs. As the tide falls, it shelters in caves and under ledges. It is rarely found buried under sand. It is more active at night.

Fantail ray babies:
The ray gives birth to live young.

Human uses: This stingray is harvested commercially as seafood. It is also considered an important gamefish for recreational fishermen. Small specimens are also taken for the aquarium trade, although they don't do well in captivity.

Status and threats: Throughout its range, the Blue-spotted fantail ray is under pressure from over collection for the aquarium trade and destruction of its reef habitat. It is considered near threatened.

Oval body with rounded snout.
Many bright blue spots.
St. John's Island, Aug 08


Broad skin flap under the tail.
Blue stripes along length of tail.

St. John's Island, Aug 08

Spine near the end of the tail.


Hard to spot under rippling water.
Terumbu Raya, May 10

May be half buried in sand.
Sisters Island, Jul 07

Blue-spotted fantail rays on Singapore shores

Photos of Blue-spotted fantail rays for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


Hidden under ledges and rocks.
Tanah Merah, Oct 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Pulau Semakau, May 08
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Senang, Jun 10


Pulau Sudong, Dec 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

Pulau Berkas, May 10


Sentosa Blue-Spotted Fantail Ray from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.


blue-spotted fantail ray @ tBembanBesar 22Apr2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.


Links
References
  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
  • Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.
  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
  • Kuiter, Rudie H. 2002. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia: A Comprehensive Reference for Divers & Fishermen New Holland Publishers. 434pp.
  • Lieske, Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral Reef Fishes of the World Periplus Editions. 400pp.
www.flickr.com
FREE photos of
marine fishes.
Make your own badge here.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008