Blue Spotted Stingray

Blue-spotted Ribbontail Ray

Family: Dasyatidae Picture of a Blue Spot Stingray or Blue-spotted Ribbontail RayTaeniura lymmaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Hello, I am a professional aquarist at a large public aquarium. These rays usually get too big and need more space than a typical home aquarium can provide. They... (more)  Aaron

   The Blue Spotted Stingray or Blue-spotted Ribbontail Ray are one ot the most unusual marine animals available. They have two plates in their mouth which are used for crushing the shells of crabs, prawns, and molluscs.

   This ray would take squid and shrimp from our hands so you could feel the plates in the mouth. For the first few feedings we impaled food on a long pole and placed it very near the mouth to entice the ray to eat. Once they get the idea they eat almost anything.

   The spots on the Blue Spotted Stingray or Blue-spotted Ribbontail Ray are usually blue or light brown. The tail is slightly longer than the body and has a spine, the stinger, about halfway down the tail.

NOTE: Be very careful when handling these animals as a sting can be extremely painful. If you do get stung immediately soak it in hot water and call a doctor!

For more Information on keeping marine fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

Geographic Distribution
Taeniura lymma
Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Actiniform
  • Class: Elasmobranchii
  • Order: Rajiformes
  • Family: Dasyatidae
  • Genus: Taeniura
  • Species: lymma
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Maintenance difficulty:    The Blue Spotted Stingray or Blue-spotted Ribbontail Ray is fairly easy to keep once it is feeding on it's own.

Maintenance:    Feed all kinds of large meaty foods like small pieces of fish, squid, shrimp, crabs, prawns, molluscs, and live goldfish. Best to feed small amounts several times a day. Water in the aquarium should not be from the tap due to trace amounts of copper and other contaminants. It is best to use reverse osmosis or deionized.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Blue Spotted Stingray or Blue-spotted Ribbontail Ray are found from East Africa to the Western Pacific. Often seen on the Great Barrier Reef resting on sandy bottoms of caves or under ledges.

Foods:    In the wild they feed on crabs, prawns, worms, molluscs, and fishes.

Social Behaviors:    Gets along with its own kind and other fish. Watch smaller fish as they could become lunch although they usually leave other fish alone unless they are acting sick or distressed.

Sex: Sexual differences:    Unknown.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Breeding/Reproduction:    Unknown.

Temperature:    No special requirements.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Blue Spotted Stingray or Blue-spotted Ribbontail Ray adults can grow to 25 cm (10 inches) not including the tail.

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 75 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    Usually found on the bottom, sifting through the sand. Will sometimes bury itself in the sand.

Availability:    This fish is available from time to time.

Lastest Animal Stories on Blue Spotted Stingray

Aaron - 2009-02-27
Hello, I am a professional aquarist at a large public aquarium. These rays usually get too big and need more space than a typical home aquarium can provide. They also tend to do well in the beginning of there stay in home aquariums but usually die an untimely death. They will breed in capitivity if they have enough space and we supply local wholesalers and other public aquariums with the T. lymma that breed here.

There are ways to take pressure off the animals that are popular in the aquarium trade. Only buy animals that are hardy and will have enough space in your aquarium. Just because a fish store is selling it doesnt mean it is a good choice for anyones aquarium. DO YOUR HOMEWORK and be a conscientious aquarium hobbyist.

Brent - 2009-07-17
Chris your concern is noted but as a responsible aquarist and a Green Party of Canada candidate all aspects of the ecology of the ocean must be taken into account. I myself am a vegetarian as commercial fishing is what accounts for 90% of the fish deaths that occur in the ocean. The populations are dwindling because people continue to drive cars and acidify the ocean as well as place dangerous chemicals into it. The marine hobby does have an impact of course but by all estimates and calculations if 1% of the bi catch from commercial trawling was to be put into the marine aquarium trade it would be a world wide over saturation very quickly and prices would plummet very quick. Those fish are left on the decks of those comercial fishing boats where they are allowed to suffocate to death before being sorted and then thrown back in the ocean. Yes cyanide and dynamite was used in the ocean a lot in the past but laws attempt to prevent this now and it is much much less common. If we are really to take care of our oceans we must stop commercial trawling and drag nets and use methods that only catch what we want as a food source. Also reduce or eliminate the burning of fossil fuels which is causing acidification of the ocean and destroying the base of the entire food chain on the planet such as phyto-plankton. The oceans stability is the planets stability and the planets survival!

michelle - 2009-09-16
Sexing sharks and rays is extremely simple. Every ray, male or female has two anal fins at the base of the tail. Male rays also have "claspers" which are used in reproduction, and are sort of finger-shaped. The claspers are tucked up under the tail near the anal fins. When your ray comes to a rest at the bottom of the tank, sometimes it will splay out its anal fins and claspers (if it has them). If you see something poking out from under the anal fins, you've got a boy.

mark - 2003-08-26
I have had Cyrus for nearly 3 months now in a 140 gal tank with sand bottom and a small stack of live rock around the drain to the sump. He has become very skilful moving around the tank and enjoys gliding through the rocks. It took nearly a week (distressing as he is such a stunning creature) before he began to eat, and he will now take small prawns from my hand. He is not so interested in fish but does eat squid and cracks open shellfish and crabs sometimes. I just wish I could give him a bigger tank - one day I hope to donate him to our local marine park. He shares the tank with a blue swimmer crab (rescued from a local seafood restaurant, but her mate died before arrival) a clown fish and several small crustaceans. Originally built for an octopus, but Cyrus was too beautiful to pass by.

Summer - 2006-05-12
I have a beautiful ray that we have named "RAY". I have had him for about 1 year now and he is the most wonderful, smart animal I have ever seen. He is housed with a dog faced puffer ( scooby), a eel ( spot), Lion fish ( Simba), Purple Tang ( P.Pooty) Yellow Tang ( Pooty Tang) and a clown fish named Jack. They are all the best of fish friends and do not fight or try to eat each other, they are however in a 155 gallon aquarium. I have trained my ray and dog faced puffer to come by name, eat from my hand and they even do a few tricks. Both are very smart and seem to be so lovable. Good thing we do not have a tank large enough for me to swim in. My daughter at age 10 even feeds all of these fish by hand as they are allvery gentle.
I would only recommend these to people who truely love the animals and will spend time with them. They LOVE to be talked to, they are constantly entertaining us, especially the ray doing flips in the water. Please help conserve our sealife for our children and grand children.


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