Blue-spotted Ray - Taeniura lymma

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The Blue-spotted Stingray, or Blue-spotted fantail ray, is widespread in tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans. On the Great Barrier Reef it is one of the most common rays that the diver sees, and often flits from one coral clump to another in the shallow water of the lagoon during the day. At night it may partially bury itself in the sand. It feeds in the sandy shallows upon molluscs such as Volutes and Strombs, crushing heavy shells with apparent ease. The body shape is almost oval; the upper surface is honey-brown to apricot, becoming lighter at the edge of the disc; this forms a background to large, vivid blue spots. This species is commonly 12 inches in diameter with a total length of 36 inches, but it is known to reach a length of 8 feet.

Caution should be taken when around this creature so as not to stand or kneel on its tail where it has a few needle-sharp barbs covered in poisonous mucus that can cause considerable pain.

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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