Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Myliobatiformes
(Stingrays) > Myliobatidae
(Eagle and manta rays) > Rhinopterinae
Etymology: Rhinoptera: Greek, rhinos = nose + Greek,pteron = fin, wing (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 22 m (Ref. 26912). Tropical; 42°N - 1°S, 99°W - 12°W (Ref. 55259)
Eastern Atlantic: Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea. Western Atlantic: southern New England to northern Florida (USA) and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, migrating to Trinidad, Venezuela, Brazil and Uruguay (Ref. 7251).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 65.3, range 62 - ? cm
Max length : 213 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 4441); common length : 120 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Deep grove around front of head below eyes; forehead above groove indented, snout below groove is distinctly bilobed (Ref. 26938). Disk brown to olive above, with no spots or marks, wings long and pointed (Ref. 7251). Lower surface white or yellowish white (Ref. 6902).
An oceanic species sometimes found near the coast (Ref. 5217). Feeds on a variety of bivalve mollusks and other benthic prey (Ref. 93252). Forms segregated schools (Ref. 12951). Jumps occasionally, landing with a loud smack, probably as a territorial display. Migrates south in large schools that disappear off northern Florida, USA and are not reported from Caribbean Is.; tagged fish have been recovered in northern South America (Ref. 7251). Population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates clockwise; schools of up to 10,000 rays leave west coast of Florida for Yucatan, Mexico in the fall (Ref. 7251). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures (Ref. 50449).
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 20 - 28.1, mean 26.7 (based on 643 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5039 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01202 (0.00703 - 0.02057), b=2.98 (2.83 - 3.13), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (63 of 100) .