Aetobatus narinari Euphrasen 1790
white-spotted eagle ray min common
Aetobatus narinari, white-spotted eagle ray

family Mylobatidae

White spotted eagle rays, Aetobatus narinari, are unmistakable. They have distinct heads and a duck like beak. They have a diamond shaped body which is dark with well defined white spots. They are extremely graceful swimmers and can leap out of the water. They have exceptionally long whip like tails which may be 2 or 3 times the body length over 8m. There is a poisonous spine near the base of the tail.
Although they are usually seen swimming in mid-water they are benthic feeders and can be seen grubbing about in the sediment for food. They have a series of plate like teeth to crush molluscs. They mainly eat bivalves but also octopus and fish
A rare white (albino ?) eagle ray, sighted at Julian Rocks in September 2007. (bottom right photo)
They frequently school during the breading season. Copulation is brief and takes place belly to belly, females may mate with up to 4 males over an hour. Live young are born after 12 months with 1- 4 pups per litter. Sharks feed on newborns

Distribution =   worldwide tropical
Max size =   3.5m wide