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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Order Rajiformes > Family Dasyatidae
Blue-spotted fantail ray
Taeniura lymma
Family Dasyatidae
updated Sep 2020
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.

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.

Spine near the end of the tail.

St. John's Island, Aug 08
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.

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

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

Blue-spotted fantail rays on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Labrador, Aug 17
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

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

Lazarus Island, Nov 20
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Small Sisters Island, Aug 20
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Terumbu Semakau, Jul 16
Photo shared by Dayna Cheah on facebook.

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

Pulau Semakau (East), Dec 20
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Terumbu Pempang Laut, Apr 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Terumbu Hantu, Jun 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

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

Pulau Biola, May 10
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Pulau Salu, Apr 21
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Sentosa Blue-Spotted Fantail Ray from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

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

  • 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.
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