Spotted Eagle Ray
The Spotted Eagle Ray is a large, dramatically-patterned Ray with species distributed in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide. These wide, diamond-shaped Rays can reach over 9 feet in width and have been measured at 16 feet in length including the long whip-like tail. Spotted Eagle Rays are easily recognized by the many white spots or rings covering their dark dorsal surface. They are often seen in bays and over reefs, but sometimes gather in large schools and cross long distances of open water. Spotted Eagle Rays are often seen leaping out of the water, possibly to escape predation by Sharks and sometimes cause injury by jumping into boats. Like other Stingray species, Spotted Eagle Rays commonly feed on small fish and crustaceans and sometimes dig with their snouts to find food buried in the sand of the sea bed. Spotted Eagle Rays are shy and may be more easily observed by a silent lone snorkeler. The several venomous spines near the base of the Ray’s tail deserve caution.