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The other main order of cartilaginous fishes to be found
around the Andaman's reefs is the rays,
and most common of these is the bluespotted stingray.
This stingray's coloration and common name
make it often confused with the more circular blue-spotted stingray
found in the Gulf of Thailand,
which belongs to a different genus.
The bluespotted stingray is found on sandy bottoms
at sites such as East of Eden in the Similans.
The neutral color of the larger Jenkins whipray
camouflages it well against the seabed.
This ray has a pair of sharp and venomous spines near the base of its tail,
and the name whipray comes from the ray's ability to whip it's long tail over fast
and administer a nasty sting to a predator at any part of its circumference.
The ray takes water in through its spiracle, a hole just behind the eye.
This water can be blown out through the mouth
to excavate food from the substrate.
Another large stingray common to the area is the blotched fantail ray.
This impressive species can grow nearly 2 meters in diameter
and is often one of the highlights of dives in the Andaman.
Blotched fantail rays are most impressive when they aggregate in shoals.
Occasionally they can be witnessed in large numbers.
I encountered this shoal of some 30 individuals at Black Rock.
They had possibly gathered to mate.
Another visitor to Black Rock and other deep-water sites
is the spotted eagle ray.
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Stingrays - Reef Life of the Andaman - Part 5

1610 Folder Collection
Yue Hua Liu published on December 14, 2013
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