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Urobatis halleri, also known as Haller's round ray or the round stingray, is a species of stingrays that is endemic to the Eastern North Pacific Oceans.
Round rays belong to the Urobatis halleri family and are one of the smaller species of rays found in the seas and oceans of the world. They are small to medium in length and are usually docile creatures that like to spend their time hiding on the surface of the seas or oceans.
They are extremely common in shallow bays around the southern Sea of Cortez and can be spotted easily off most beach coasts. Even though they are small, their sting can cause a lot of pain, so it is recommended to not startle these animals as they might whip you with their tail and inject venom into your skin.
Haller's round ray, more commonly known as the California round sting ray (Urobatis halleri), is a species of round stingrays that is endemic to the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. They are one of the smaller stingray species and are commonly found around the water bodies in and around California.
Round stingrays belong to the Chondrichthyes class of animals. The Chondrichthyes class contains cartilaginous fishes that have a skeleton made up of bony tissues. These animals are jawed vertebrates that have a pair of fins, a pair of nostrils, scales, and a heart in a series of chambers.
Due to an abundance of round stingrays in the Eastern North Pacific waters, it is tough to state their exact population. These stingrays are also kept in aquariums and sometimes are targeted by commercial fisheries and recreational activities.
These species of stingrays prefer warm temperate tropical water bodies.
The round stingray (Urobatis halleri) is usually found living in tropical to warm-temperate water bodies and favors soft-bottomed habitats that generally have a mud bottom surface to help them camouflage in their surroundings.
Round stingrays belong to the categories of animals that prefer to live a solitary life, however, they can also congregate and come together and live in groups which can also be seen as mating behavior.
A group of stingrays is called a school.
The lifespan of these round rays is estimated to be around 14 years in captivity.
Both male and female round rays reach sexual maturity when they are two to three years of age. The mating season occurs in March and April in the temperate water body habitat in southern California and might be different depending on the location and temperature of the habitat around them.
Males of this stingray species detect fertile females by detecting their bioelectric field and the form of fertilization is internal. During copulation, the male will grasp the disc margin of the female and will flip under the female, inserting a clasper with the mating lasting about five minutes.
After copulation, females go through a gestation period of three to four months before giving birth to live babies. Embryos receive nourishment from the yolk sac and after 45 days they will be nourished by the uterine milk of the mothers.
Currently, these round rays fall under the categories of Least Concern species under the IUCN Red List.
They are naturally preyed on by sharks, elephant seals, and larger fishes like the Black Sea Bass. Round stingray is not used in commercial fisheries but is accidentally caught in nets laid by fishermen. Usually, they are released when reeled in, but some fishermen kill them in an attempt to not get stung by them. Other than this, they are infrequently consumed by humans and are a part of the fish trade as they can thrive in aquariums thanks to their small size.
The round stingray has a round pectoral fin that is usually brown or grayish-brown on the top with pale yellow spots with a white underside. The skin is usually smooth and they have a short and stout tail that has a long and thick spine. These round stingrays have diamond-shaped teeth that are small. Their eyes are on top of their bodies and the mouth is located at the underside of the body.
The round stingray shed their tail spine but for most of the year, they have only one spine. The new tail spines are often seen growing back at the beginning of July.
A round stingray is not cute per se but is a unique animal that adds quality to an aquarium. They are displayed in the Aquarium of the Pacific, in Long Beach, California.
Much like sharks, round rays use sensors to sense electrical discharge that is emitted by the prey; these sensors, known as ampullae of Lorenzini, are located around their mouths and compliment their poorly-placed eyes.
Round rays, Urobatis (urolophus) halleri are small in stature and reach a maximum length of 23.6 in (60 cm) with a disc width of 5-10 in (12.7-25.4 cm)!
Unfortunately, the speed at which these rays swim in the water cannot be stated due to a lack of sufficient data. Stingrays have no dorsal fin and swim by moving their flippers up and down, this movement resembles a bird in flight.
These rays are lightweight in nature and achieve a maximum mass of 6.6 lb (3 kg) when they are fully grown.
No particular name has been assigned to either sex of these species.
A baby round stingray is called a pup.
Pups are born live and the size of the litter depends on the size of the mother, larger females will produce more pups. Pups of these species of rays vary in size and usually have a disc width of 2.3-3.1 in (6.3-8.0 cm) and look like miniature versions of the adults. The pups become independent at birth as no parental care is provided by the adult of these round stingray species.
Round rays (Urolophus nebulosus) have a diet mostly consisting of worms, shrimps, small fishes, clams, mollusks, and other shelled animals as their powerful jaws are strong enough to crack the shells open with little to no effort!
No, they are not poisonous, they are venomous. Stingrays are named after the venomous spine located on their tails, and the round stingray is no different. The round stingray is not an aggressive species and will not attack humans when approached, but if they are startled, they will attack and use their stingers to inject venom into the human skin that can cause painful wounds.
Most stingrays attacks are common on beaches and shallow waters where humans, unknowingly, startle or step on their tail resulting in the stingray defending themselves using their venomous tail. Although not life-threatening, the wounds can be very painful.
They can also bite if provoked enough but the bites are not poisonous but will cause pain as they have powerful jaws.
Yes, the Round stingray does make for good pets as they can thrive in aquariums and community fish tanks thanks to their small size and are legal to keep as pets in California and other parts of the United States but they are not for novice aquarists as they are tough to take care of.
The price category of the Round stingray is medium and one can buy them from an exotic pet store for $179.99-$249.99 USD.
A round stingray pet will require a 180 gal (818.2 L) aquarium that is 4 ft (1.2 m) in width and 8 ft (2.4) in length, and the base should have an ample amount of soft sandy substrate for them to hide in and hunt as they would in the wild.
Round rays are closely related to sharks! Their body, just like that of sharks, is made up of cartilages!
the round stingray is most abundant in the Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California.
The name Urobatis comes from a combination of Greek words. Oura means "tail" and Batis or batidos means "a ray".
The German synonym of the round ray is Urolophus nebulosus.
To avoid being stung by a ray, the practice of "sting-ray shuffle" is followed. When entering the ocean waters, the feet should be kept flat on the bottom while shuffling along and if contact with a ray is made, it will take off immediately.
Stingray babies are born fully developed and can take care of themselves right after birth!
The northern end of Seal Beach, which is used as a nursery by the round ray, is one of the most notorious locations for round ray attacks on humans.
Round stingrays and other stingray species have one to three venomous barbed spinal blades that they use to attack predators.
Yes, the round stingray, much like other stingray species, are edible in nature and can be cooked and consumed. Their meat somewhat resembles that of scallops and in certain parts of Malaysia and Singapore, their fleshy fin-like wings are considered a delicacy!
Be careful to wash them properly though as Urobatis halleri parasites can be harmful to humans and might cause sickness and also remember to touch them carefully as the tail of even a dead round ray can cause harm to the skin.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these sawfish facts and sprat facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable urobatis halleri coloring pages.
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