SMALLEYE STINGRAY

(Dasyatis microps)

SMALLEYE STINGRAY (Dasyatis microps)

 

The first live Smalleye Stingray ever seen in the Western Indian Ocean was identified in Tofo by researchers from the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF), a non-profit charitable organization based in Tofo that focuses on the research and conservation of threatened large marine species. It was also during this encounter that, for the first time, live photographs of  this  species  were  taken.  Today,  Tofo  is  still  one  of  the  very  few  spots  where this

species can be found! The Smalleye Stingray is the largest species of stingray, reaching up

to 2.2 meters disc width and a total length of  3.2  meters.  This  scarcely  seen  but  widely

distributed species is found in the Indo-Pacific from Mozambique to India and to Northern

Australia. Its preferred habitat is uncertain as  it  has  been  reported  from  estuarine, river

mouths  and  coastal  waters,  as  well  as  from  deep  waters.  In  Tofo, Smalleye Stingrays

have been  seen  swimming  over  reefs  at  a  depth  of  15–25  meters,  where  the  water

temperature  is  23–28°C.  The  Smalleye  Stingray  has  a   distinctive   diamond - shaped

pectoral fin disc, which is more than 1.4 times wider than it is long,  and  a  broad  tail  that

is flattened in front of the spine but whip-like behind.  Its  dorsal  side  is  brown  to  reddish

brown and  bears  a  characteristic  pattern  of large white spots displayed beside the eyes,

around  the  disc  centre  and  in  a  row  on  either  side  of  the  pectoral fins. As the name

suggests,  it  has  a  pair  of small eyes, immediately followed by much larger spiracles. Off

Tofo, most individuals are accompanied by multiple cobia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT AN ENCOUNTER WITH A SMALLEYE STINGRAY CAN NEVER BE GUARANTEED ON A PARTICULAR DIVE!! This is what makes the wild so special; every day is just unique!

Species Distribution

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Praia do Tofo - Mozambique

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