This week in Lembongan… Two days ago, our divers were really lucky, as in one day they spotted; manta rays, a bamboo shark, schools of giant trevallies and up to 8 marbled rays relaxing on the bottom.
Marbled rays are known by different names, including two scientist ones (Taenjura meyeni and T. melanospilos). The common names that we often use, are; marbled ray, black-spotted stingray, giant reef ray, blotched fantail ray or round ribbon-tail ray.
Taenjura meyeni is a species of stingray in the Dasyatidae family. They are found in the Indo-West Pacific and Eastern Pacific oceans. As bottom-dwelling creature, they live in a wide range of habitats, from shallow lagoons to outer reef slopes, and usually have other fish, like jacks, swimming near them. Carnivorous, the Marble Ray eats bottom fish and crustaceans.
These types of rays are characterized by a thick, rounded pectoral fin, which is covered by small tubercles on the top. They normally have a relatively short tail, bearing a deep ventral fin.
As any stingray, it’s important to be careful with their spine, even if they are not aggressive. It’s why it’s important to always stay a good distance from any creature and to not touch or chase them.
The eggs of the ray are kept within the body of the female in a brood chamber where the embryo develops, receiving nourishment from a yolk sac. Up to seven pups hatch from the egg capsules and are born soon afterwards. This is the method of reproduction for the “live-bearing” fishes where pups hatch from egg capsules inside the mother’s uterus and are born soon afterward. Also known as aplacental viviparous.
The ray is classified as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This means that it is at high risk of endangerment in the wild, and that we should do our best to protect them.