Animal Species:Whitespotted Eagle Ray, Aetobatus ocellatus (Kuhl, 1823)

The Whitespotted Eagle Ray has an angular shaped disc with white spots on the upper surface. The species grows to at least 3.5 m disc width and 8.8 m in length.

Standard Common Name

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

Identification

The Whitespotted Eagle Ray has an angular shaped disc with white spots on the upper surface. The snout can vary in shape from spade-like in juveniles to pointed in large individuals (P. Last, CSIRO. pers. comm.). The whip-like tail has 2-6 spines.

Many references refer to this species as Aetobatus narinari.  The work of White and coauthors (see References) showned that A. ocellatus has a longer tail and other morphometric differences.  The major difference is in the background  colouration of the dorsal surface; A. ocellatus is "a dark greenish, greyish to amost blackish (sometimes with a pink tinge)", whereas A. narinari is "much paler, medium yellowish brownish (fawn)"

Size range

The species grows to at least 3.5 m disc width and 8.8 m total length.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical waters of the east-Indo-west-central Pacific. In Australia it is known from central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to the central coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Aetobatus ocellatus

Habitat

The Whitespotted Eagle Ray occurs coastal waters.

Classification

Species:
ocellatus
Genus:
Aetobatus
Family:
Myliobatidae
Order:
Myliobatiformes
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  4. Johnson, J.W. and Couper, P.J. 1998. Flotsam (p. 20-21). in Davie, P. (Ed). Wild Guide to Moreton Bay.  Wildlife and Habitats of a beautiful Australian Coast – Noosa to the Tweed. Queensland Museum . Pp. 408.
  5. Last, P.R. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  6. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
  7. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  8. Oh, J., Kim, S., Kim, C.-G., Soh, H.Y., Jeong, D. & Y.-H. Lee. 2006. The first record of Long Headed Eagle Ray, Aetobatus flagellum (Pisces: Myliobatidae) from Korea. Ocean Science Journal. 41(1): 53-57.
  9. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
  10. White, W.T., Last, P.R., Naylor, G.J.P., Jensen, K. & Caira, J.N. 2010. Clarification of Aetobatis ocellatus (Kuhl, 1823) as a valid species, and a comparison with Aetobatus narinari (Euphrasen, 1790) (Rajiformes: Myliobatidae). 141-164 in Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. Descriptions of new sharks and rays from Borneo. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper 32: 1–165 [146].
  11. Whitley, G. P., 1940. The Fishes of Australia. Part I. The Sharks, Rays, Devilfish and other Primitive Fishes of Australia and New Zealand. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Sydney. Pp. 280.


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Tags fisehs, fishes, ichthyology, White-spotted Eagle Ray, Aetobatus narinari, ray, stingray, marine, adult, angular shape, > 2m, tropical water, coatal water, white spots, dots/spots, worldwide, Whitespotted Eagle Ray, Aetobatus ocellatus,