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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 for free download from wildsingapore flickr
Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


video clips and more photos of blue-spotted fantail rays on Singapore shores

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