- History and Culture
The Aetobatus narinari belongs to the order of Myliobatiformes (Stingrays) and family of Myliobatidae (Eagle and manta rays), it is commonly known as the Spotted eagle ray, Bonnetray, or Maylan.
This eagle ray has a long snout which is flat and rounded. Its head is thick with a pectoral, flattened, disc shaped body that is sharply curved with angular corners and no caudal fin. The jaws have a single row of chevron shaped teeth. There are white spots and rings on a black or blue coloured body while its underbelly is white. The tail is long, whip like with a long spine near the base, behind a small dorsal fin. Fins are large and pointed.
The Spotted eagle ray is present across the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions. Recorded depth range is between 1 to 80 m. It dwells in coral reefs, around islands, near the coasts and can be found in lagoons and estuaries.
This species can be solitary or found in large group. Its diet consists of small fish, polychaetes, bivalves, gastropods, cephalopods, crustaceans and teleosts and they have been seen digging in the sand in search of food with their snouts.
Not much is known about the reproduction of this species. It has a gestation of 12 months and reportedly breeds yearly. Sexual maturity is attained after four to six years. Although reported to show high fecundity, there are only four pups per litter.
According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorized as ‘Near Threatened’. The current population trend of Aetobatus narinari is decreasing.
This species has a maximum reported length of 330 cm.