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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Blue-spotted Ribbon-tail Ray: 19 Facts You Won’t Believe

Here are some great bluespotted ribbontail ray facts that will captivate you!

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray (Taeniura lymma) is species of stingray that is known for its electric blue spots along its yellow-green body. This beautiful fish species can be found inhabiting Indo-Pacific waters, with high concentrations along the coast of southern Africa and in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are known bottom dwellers, moving slowly in groups among the ocean floor in search of crabs and small fish to prey on. They are mostly active during the high tide, retreating into shallow caves and crevices among the coral reef and sand once the low tide sets in.

Despite their mesmerizing appearance, the blue-spotted stingray can be very dangerous if rubbed the wrong way. There have been many instances of unwary humans getting too close and being stung by its venomous spines, which although are not deadly, can cause serious pain and deep wounds.

To learn more about ribbon tail rays and their dangerous spines, read on! For more relatable content, check out these cownose ray facts and eagle ray facts for kids.

Blue-spotted Ribbon-tail Ray Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray?

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray (Taeniura lymma) is a species of stingray found in and around coral reefs.

What class of animal does the blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray belong to?

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray belongs to the class of Chondrichthyes.

How many blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays are there in the world?

Though the exact population of blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays in the wild is unknown, they are known to be available in abundance, their current conservation status being that of Least Concern.

Where does blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray live?

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is commonly found in Indo-Pacific waters, in shallow coral reefs near the shores. Their habitat extends from the Australian waters to South Africa, which includes the Arabian peninsula, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, the Indian Ocean, Maldives, Seychelles, and the Philippines. It is most commonly found in the Red Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.

What is a blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray's habitat?

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is a bottom-dwelling species that can be found living in coral reefs, lagoons, seagrass beds, and among sandy flats. It hides in the sand or in crevices and nooks among the reefs during the day and forages among the ocean floor to detect prey at night.

Who does blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray live with?

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is a shy, solitary creature and spends most of its time alone, partially buried in the sandy seabed or hiding in shallow crevices along the coral reef. Groups of this lagoon ray species will get together during the high tide to forage for food and hunt prey together. They also gather together during the breeding season, with the males pursuing the females.

How long does a blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray live?

The exact lifespan of this blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is currently unknown. Stingrays are known to live for between 15-25 years in the wild, hence the lifespan of this species mostly falls between this range.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for these blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays usually takes place between late spring to summer in marine waters, with the males attempting to woo the females by following them and nipping at their discs. These rays are oviparous, meaning after the mating process the female develops eggs inside her body, which then fertilize and hatch in due course, with her then giving birth to young, fully grown stingrays. The growth period for blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays is estimated to be between 4-12 months inside the mother's body.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of the blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is currently of Least Concern.

Blue-spotted Ribbon-tail Ray Fun Facts 

What does the blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray look like?

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is quite small compared to other species of ribbon-tail rays.

The blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is an ovular, disc-shaped creature with a short, pointed tail. It is named after the presence of bright blue spots on its back, set against its yellowish-green skin. In addition to this, it also has two right blue stripes running down its spine and along its tail.

It has an oval pectoral disc located on its back along with pelvic fins, and large eyes which protrude from its body. Like sharks, they have two large papillae present on the bottom of their mouths and their jaws are set with 15-24 sharp teeth.

What makes them truly dangerous is the presence of two serrated, venomous barbs on the base of their tails, which are covered with skin. They use these to sting any intruders and create deep, lacerating wounds, injecting them through the venomous spines.

How cute are they?

Despite their dangerous reputation, these finned rays are quite cute and attractive to look at due to their round, flat appearance and electric blue spots. They are very popular in aquariums and among hobbyists, though they are not that well suited to captivity and are unable to survive for too long.

How do they communicate?

The bluespotted ribbontail ray often forages for food in the sand, partially burying itself in the seabed during this activity. Rummaging with their mouths in the sand, they are able to detect other nearby organisms with the help of electroreception, in which they are able to pick up on their electrical fields as well as temperatures.

How big is the blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray?

Blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays are quite small when compared to other ribbon-tail rays species, measuring only 31.5 in (80 cm) long and 13.8 in (35 cm) wide.

How fast can a blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray swim?

Though the exact swimming speed of this ray is unknown, it has been observed to be a slow, lazy swimmer. It spends most of its time on the ocean floor among the sand, mostly seen moving around in groups at night to search for food.

How much does a blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray weigh?

The average blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray weighs around 11 lb (5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific terms for either sex of this species.

What would you call a baby blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray?

A baby blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray is called a pup.

What do they eat?

Blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays hunt along the ocean floor, using electroreception to search for their prey. They usually swim through the water as a group at high tide along the sandy floor, scooping up various mollusks, crabs, shrimp, and small fish with their mouth and grinding them finely with their jaws before consuming them. This activity mostly occurs a night, with the ribbon-tail ray then going dormant during the day.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, the bright blue spots on this venomous ray's back are not for decoration but are rather a warning to keep away. The two spines on the tip of the tail of these rays are serrated and infused with venom, causing serious pain to any humans being unfortunate enough to come in its way. Despite this, their venom is not deadly, only causing severe pain.

Would they make a good pet?

Unfortunately, these rays are not very suited to captive life. Despite being a popular attraction in many aquariums and being a beautiful species to look at, many individual marine aquarium owners have tried and failed to make this striking lagoon ray a part of their collection. Even after adhering to all of its climatic and dietary needs, a seemingly healthy blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray will cease to feed and will become weak, ultimately dying.

Did you know...

Blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray reproduction is ovoviviparous in nature, meaning they lay eggs that hatch inside the mother's body itself, with the young being born alive.

Bluespotted stingray meat is quite popular among humans, and they are bred in commercial fisheries for consumption.

They can usually be found hiding among shipwrecks, with only their tails poking out!

Do blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays sting?

Yes, blue-spotted ribbon-tail rays have venomous spines on the tip of their tails, which they use to sting intruders if they feel attacked. They are usually shy and docile in nature and will swim away from any attackers instead of fighting head-on. For them, stinging is a last-ditch effort in order to drive away any threat.

Naming blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray

The marine blue-spotted ribbontail ray is named after the mesmerizing, electric blue spots on its smooth green back which are its crowning glory. Its tail is short and thick and creates ribbon-like movements when the ray ribbon-tailed fish is swimming underwater.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our manta ray interesting facts and rockfish surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable blue-spotted ribbon-tail ray coloring pages.

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