Leopard Whipray, <i>Himantura undulata</i> Click to enlarge image
The specimen in the image was kindly donated by Sydney Aquarium. The fish was bitten by one of the sharks in the tank and died from the wound. The bite mark is visible at the bottom of the image. The image has been retouched to remove damage that the fish received after it died. Image: Carl Bento
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    leoparda
    Genus
    Himantura
    Family
    Dasyatidae
    Order
    Myliobatiformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to a length of at least 4.1 m and a width of 1.4 m.

Introduction

The Leopard Whipray can be recognised by its pattern of leopard-like spots, and its long, thin tail which usually has one sting (spine). The species grows to a length of at least 4.1 m and a width of 1.4 m.

Identification

The Leopard Whipray can be recognised by its pattern of leopard-like spots, and its long, thin tail which usually has one sting (spine). Until recently, this species was named Himantura undulata.

Habitat

The species lives on the inner continental shelf in tropical waters.

Distribution

It occurs throughout much of south-east Asia and Taiwan. In Australia it is known from Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia to the Torres Strait, Queensland.

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.



References

  1. 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. (as Himantura undulata)
  2. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513, Pl. 1-84.