Southern Eagle Ray, Myliobatis australis Click to enlarge image
A Southern Eagle Ray at a depth of 18m, off Wattamolla, Royal National Park, south of Sydney, New South Wales, August 2002. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Myliobatis
    Family
    Myliobatidae
    Order
    Myliobatiformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    This species grows to 1.2 m in disc width and 2.4 m in total length.

Introduction

The Southern Eagle Ray has a blunt snout and eyes on the sides of the head. The species occurs in temperate waters of southern Australia and possibly New Zealand.



Identification

The Southern Eagle Ray has a blunt snout and eyes on the sides of the head. The disc is wider than long and has pointed tips. There is a small dorsal fin followed by a venomous stinging spine on the long whip-like tail.

It is brownish, grey, olive-green or yellowish above and paler below. The upper surface has a variable pattern of grey-blue spots and bars.


Southern Eagle Ray, Myliobatis australis
Southern Eagle Ray, Myliobatis australis. A Southern Eagle Ray at a depth of 7 m, Cabbage Tree Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, 6 August 2013. Image: Nick Dawkins
© Nick Dawkins

Distribution

The Southern Eagle Ray is known from southern Queensland around the south of the country and north to the south-western coast of Western Australia. It may also occur in New Zealand.



References

  1. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  6. Last, PR & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.