- Common Name
- spotted eagle ray
- Genus Species
- Aetobatus narinari
- Flattened (depressiform) body with dark brown dorsal surface covered in white spots. Ventral surface is white. Pectoral fins are extremely pronounced - forming wing-like appendages used for primary locomotion. Head is obvious, with flattened, tapered snout. Caudal fin is heavily modified into a whip-like form (typical of ray species). Venomous spines (1–5) may be found along base of caudal fin's dorsal surface.
Male: External claspers located on the far underside of the body – forward of the caudal fin – distinguish males.
- Length w/o tail: 1.2 to 2 m (4 to 6.5 ft) avg; 2.4 m (8 ft) max
Length w/ tail: 880 cm (28.8 feet) max
Width: 300 cm (9.8 ft) max
- 230 kg (507 lbs.) max
- Bivalves, shrimp, crabs, annelids, octopus, whelks, and small fish
- Species exhibits dioecism. Fertilization is internal. Species is internal live bearer.
Clutch size: Up to 4 pups are produced
- Sexual Maturity
- 4 to 6 years
- Life Span
- 4 to 6 years
- Western Atlantic: Bermuda and North Carolina to southern Brazil, including Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Antilles
Eastern Atlantic: Mauritania to Angola
Indo-Western Pacific: Red Sea and South Africa to Hawaii, north to Japan, and south to Australia
Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to Puerto Pizarro, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands
- 1 to 80 meters (3 to 260 ft) in tropical & sub-tropical marine open and coastal waters; occasionally found in brackish estuaries
- Global: No data
- IUCN: Data Deficient
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed
- Spotted eagle rays have been observed congregating in large schools.
- Spotted eagle rays are often observed cruising close to the surface. They are also known to "porpoise" – or leap – out of the water.
- As with other ray species, spotted eagle rays possess flat plates of teeth which are used to crush the hardened shells of preys items such as bivalves and crustaceans.
- For more information about sharks & rays, explore the Sharks & Rays InfoBook.
Ecology and Conservation
Eagle rays may be taken as by-catch in commercial fishing operations.
Bond, Carl E. Biology of Fishes - Second Edition. Saunders College Publishing, 1996.
Humann, Paul. Reef Fish Identification - Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc., 1992.