Fun Eastern Fiddler Ray Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Kidadl Team
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Eastern fiddler ray facts are all about a remarkable fish of the Rhinobatidae family.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.3 Min

The eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) is a jawed cartilaginous fish. Their geographical distribution includes mostly parts of eastern Australia, mainly the New South Wales coast to the coastal parts of western Australia. Other common names of this fish include the banjo shark, the magpie fiddler, the southern fiddler, the fiddler ray, the green skate, and the southern fiddler ray. Their brownish-colored body is somewhat oval-shaped with dark grayish striations that distinguish them from other species like the Trygonorrhina dumerilii. The southern fiddler belongs to the subclass of Elasmobranchii and possesses two dorsal fins along with a single long caudal fin just like other chondrichthyes. Their small eyes are beautifully surrounded by colored triangular markings that add to their look.

Their semi-circular short snout is diaphanous and divides two nostrils with an internasal fleshy flap. These fiddler rays are bottom dwellers and prey on crustaceans and other lower invertebrates. Sometimes, these rays enter into traps in search of food which is crushed by their powerful jaw. They do not have barbs but possess thorn-like denticles along their mid-dorsal line.

If you liked reading this article, then do check out the black stingray and the stingray.

Eastern Fiddler Ray Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an eastern fiddler ray?

The eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) is a ray fish that belongs to the Rhinobatidae family.

What class of animal does an eastern fiddler ray belong to?

The eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) belongs to the Chondrichthyes class of the Rhinobatidae family.

How many eastern fiddler ray are there in the world?

There are a total of seven different species of fiddler rays known in the world. Unfortunately, the exact number of eastern fiddler rays living in this world is not known.

Where does an eastern fiddler ray live?

The eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) is commonly seen in coastal areas of eastern Australia, mainly on the New South Wales coast. The distribution of this species stretches in parts of western Australia up to Perth. The southern fiddler can be seen in the southern parts of Australia as well.

What is an eastern fiddler ray's habitat?

This species fasciata is marine and is found in shallow sandy and coastal areas. They also reside in sea grass regions and rocky reefs. They can reach a depth that ranges up to 591 ft (180.1 m).

Who does eastern fiddler ray live with?

This species of rays is seen mostly alone on sea floors and hence are called benthic animals. During mating, males and females aggregate in regions of shallow waters.

How long does an eastern fiddler ray live?

This species of fiddler rays is known to have an average lifespan of 11 to 16 years.

How do they reproduce?

These eastern fiddler rays are ovoviviparous and their embryo develops within the egg inside their body until they hatch. The southern fiddler ray is known to lay eggs that have golden-colored capsules. They give birth to an average of three babies in each breeding season which takes place in the months of April to May. At the time of mating, males and females migrate to shallow waters. These fiddlers undergo embryonic diapause or delayed embryonic development as their embryos develop only during the last stage of their gestation. The length of their gestation period is 12 months. Females attain greater maturity at a length of about 35.1 in (89.1 cm).

What is their conservation status?

 The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed the fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) as a species of Least Concern. However, due to increased levels of water pollution, these rays are often seen ingesting plastic debris from the sea or ocean floor and entangling themselves in this debris.

Eastern Fiddler Ray Fun Facts

What does eastern fiddler ray look like?

The fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) looks just like the banjo or the guitar fish and shares a similarity with sharks. Their oval-shaped body possesses dark grayish striations. They have a pair of dorsal fins and a single long caudal fin. They differ from the southern fiddler ray in the color pattern.

The eastern fiddler ray has an oval-shaped body with slightly raised eyes.

How cute are they?

The fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) showcases colorful body striations and large triangular patterns around their small eyes. This delicate body shape and pattern qualifies them to be considered cute and these fish are often seen alongside underwater divers and in aquariums.

How do they communicate?

Not much data is available on their modes of communication. However, their lateral line body system is capable of detecting movements of their prey in the form of pressure waves. Their snout possesses electroreceptors underneath, which can search for the presence of their prey buried deep into the sand.

How big is an eastern fiddler ray?

The fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) can have a length of 47.2 in (119.8 cm) and resembles a similarity with the hind body of sharks. However, a great white shark is much bigger in size.

How fast can an eastern fiddler ray swim?

They can swim just as fast as sharks and other rays. However, their exact speed is not known.

How much does an eastern fiddler ray weigh?

They can weigh up to an average of 15 lb (6.8 kg). An average rockfish is way lighter than this fiddler.

What are the male and female names of the species?

They are commonly referred to as male and female fiddler rays.

What would you call a baby eastern fiddler ray?

A baby eastern fiddler ray is called a fry.

What do they eat?

These fiddler rays or banjo rays prey on crustaceans like crabs, prawns, shrimp, and other invertebrates.

Are they aggressive?

The fiddler is not known to be aggressive or harmful at all. It is not territorial in nature and tends to lie on the sea floor to capture its prey.

Would they make a good pet?

They qualify to be good pets due to their meek nature and colorful big patterns on their body. Their flattened shark-like look makes them an exquisite animal to stare at.

Did you know...

The eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) tends to remain buried within sandy sea bottoms in search of their prey and swims back to the shallow surface cooler waters after feeding in order to maintain its metabolic rate.

It has the ability to camouflage itself from potential threats like birds and other large fish. It provides a home to a large number of ectoparasites like copepod and endoparasites like tapeworms.

Naming the eastern fiddler ray

The eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) is named after the geographical distribution range of eastern Australia where it inhabits in abundance.

Are fiddler rays dangerous?

The eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina) is considered completely harmless. It does not pose any threat to humans at all.

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 cave crayfish facts and spotted ray facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable fish coloring pages.

Eastern Fiddler Ray Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Crabs, prawns, shrimp, other invertebrates

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

15 lb (6.8 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

marine areas, shallow sandy areas, sea grass areas, rocky reefs

Where Do They Live?

eastern australia, western australia

How Long Were They?

47.2 in (119.8 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Trygonorrhina fasciata

What Do They Look Like?

Light brown and pale beige

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

sharks, large bony fish, humans, parasites

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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