Different Types of Rays: Stingrays, Eagle Rays and Manta Rays

Types of RaysA distant relative of the shark, stingrays and other rays like skates, electric rays, guitarfishes and sawfishes are categorized as Batoidea, a kind of cartilaginous fish and have around 500 described varieties in thirteen families. They’re fairly prevalent and are found within oceans along the bottom, around the world in both cold and warm water. Mantas and several fresh water types are an exception, the former residing in open seas and the latter living in estuaries and brackish bays.

Most varieties of rays have flat bodies that help them to successfully hide themselves within their surroundings, typically the sea bed. Their disk like form (in most ray species) have five ventral slot-like body openings called gill slits that trail from the gills and their jaws on the undersides. They use scent and electrorecepters to observe their victim similar to sharks because their eyes are on the top of their body.

These docile animals are incorrectly classified as harmful. Their main response is to swim away when agitated, while some do posses stings they normally don’t attack sharply when threatened. But, a defensive response causes it to mix up their stinger which is frequently the situation when attacked by predators or walked on. Even then, if stung by a stingray it is seldom deadly and if stung in the low limb area will most probably only be a wound causing soreness, swelling and muscle cramps from the venom, or even an illness unless it strikes the torso, a main artery or causes a really strong hole.

Types of stingrays

Here’s a glance at several typical kinds of rays:


Types of Rays Smooth or Short tail stingraySmooth Stingray or Short-tail Stingray

The Smooth Stingray also referred to as the short-tail stingray is the biggest of the world’s stingrays. Discovered around South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and New Zealand, it may weigh well over 350 kg (770 pounds), and be over 2 meters (6 ft) across and have a standard length of up to 4.3 m (14 ft) including its tail which is why it may also be called bull ray. This bluish – grey or grey – brown stingray usually has 2 stings, the normal back one significantly bigger and a little one in front, which carry toxin glands.

Types of Rays Southern StingraySouthern Stingray

This kind of stingray is generally seen within the subtropical and tropical seas of the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf. It includes a level, diamond-shaped body, with a dirt brown upper-body, white underbelly and venomous barbed tail. Stingray City within Grand Cayman is well-known for surfing, swimming and snorkeling with this kind of stingray.

Types of Rays Blue Spotted RayBlue Spotted Ray

This brilliant stingray has big vibrant blue spots on its round, elongated disk body and blue side-stripes along the tail. They’re seen in the Indo-West Pacific area, largely in the Red Sea and East Africa to the Solomon Islands, Asia and Sydney. They attain a maximum length of about 70 centimeters.

Eagle Rays

Eagle rays unlike stingrays tend to dwell in the open sea as opposed to on the bottom of the ocean. In contrast to different rays, their tails are rather lengthy plus they are a well-defined rhomboidal shape featuring different wings.

Types of Rays Spotted Eagle RaySpotted Eagle Ray

The spotted eagle ray is among the most gorgeous rays and it is referred to as the bonnet ray. It’s inky blue body is covered with nearly star like white spots. Weighing roughly 230 kg (about 507 lbs), its wings may grow as broad as 2.5 meters (8 foot) and can reach as much as 5 m (16 ft) long with its tail. Spotted eagle rays are a breathtaking sight to observe swimming just beneath the surface of open seas in big groups. They could actually be seen leaping out of and over the seas occasionally.

Types of Rays Manta RayManta Rays

The biggest of all ray types, the manta is a member of the eagle ray family. Discovered all through tropical seas of the planet, commonly around coral reefs, the manta ray may develop to a width of 7.6 yards (25 feet) across and weight about 2,300 kilograms (5,100 pound)!

Their enormous dimension nevertheless, doesn’t in any way change their freedom and these large animals are gracefully agile submerged. Mantas are filtration feeders living off plankton, fish larvae and such near common cleaning areas where little fish including wrasse, remora and angelfish swim inside the manta’s gills and over its epidermis to clear it of parasites and dead tissues. The Manta Ray Night Dive in Kailua Kona is often referred to as an event of a life, ranking Hawaii among the Top Dive Sites of the Planet is the greatest Manta Ray experience.

Photos by jeffk42JOE M500Saspotatojadamrichard lingnhurtoKawa0310


  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but sting rays creep the heck out of me. They just seem like an alien species that has been displaced (or placed ) on Earth as some diabolical plot to infiltrate the human race; or like some Unidentified Submerged Object. These creatures are demonized because the only time we ever hear about a sting ray attack, someone (Like Steve Erwin) dies.

  2. The one encounter I had with a giant stingray must have been a spotted eagle ray because I recall watching this giant monster swim in front of me in shallow water and I was struck by what looked to me like leopard spots. I had never seen a stingray don animal prints. It’s in style now by the way. LOL Anyway, they are fascinating and intimidating creatures to say the least.

  3. I was stung about 10 years ago in Tampa Bay. Hundreds of dogs and people where swimming along with me and all of a sudden I felt awful pain. It was so bad my friend ran to the Ranger station to get ice. They told him that I was stung by a stingray and to get home to warm water. Once home I put it my foot in the hottest water possible with Epsom salt.

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