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Myliobatidae (Eagle Rays)

Eagle rays are the common names for the members of the Mylibatinae, a subfamily for the Myliobatidae (Eagle and Manta Rays) family. Similar to stingrays, eagle rays have broad, wing-like pectoral disc and have a very long tail armed with spine. They are distinguished by their interrupted pectoral fin disc that formed a single lobed rostral fin, and an elongated nasal curtain that overlaps mouth which makes their head seems like bird’s beak.

Members of the Mylibatinae are found in the warm-temperate and tropical continental and insular seas worldwide. There are 3 genera and 22 species worldwide. They can be found from the seashore to a depth of at least 500 m, occurring on both soft and hard bottom around coral and rocky reefs, near kelp beds, and in estuaries, lagoons, and enclosed and open bay. These rays are strong and active swimmers, found near or on the bottom but often swimming well above it. They are more active than the stingrays and less likely to be stepped upon. Their stinging spine, which is close to the tail base, is not particularly effective as a defensive weapon. All species are live-bearing, bearing up to 4 young at a time. The powerful jaws and plate-like teeth, fitting close together in mosaic arrangement, form a grinding mill that allows these rays to feed on hard-shelled molluscs which includes crabs, lobsters, oysters, and clams.

Scientific Name: Aetobatus flagellum  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
English Name: Longheaded Eagle Ray
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 魟鱼 (Hōng yú), 魔鬼鱼 (Móguǐ yú), 燕子魟 (Yànzi hóng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pari Burung
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากระเบนนกหัวยาว (Plāk ra ben nk h̄ạw yāw)
Main Identification Features: Very long, narrowly tapering snout like a swallow bird. No distinct spot on body.
Size: Maximum 72 cm disc width, commonly to 40 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Inshore and estuarine waters.
Remarks: Endangered (2006 IUCN Red List). Venomous spike. Be very careful when handling all types of ray.

Scientific Name: Aetobatus narinari  (Euphrasen, 1790)
English Name: Spotted Eagle Ray, Duckbill Ray
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 魟鱼 (Hōng yú), 魔鬼鱼 (Móguǐ yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pari Helang, Pari-lang Bintik Putih
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากระเบนค้างคาว (Plāk ra ben kĥāngkhāw), ปลากระเบนนกจุดขาว (Plāk ra ben nk cud k̄hāw)
Main Identification Features: Long, flat and rounded snout like a duck's bill. Many white spots on black or bluish disc.
Size: Maximum 330 cm disc width, commonly to 180 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Inshore and estuarine waters, to 80 m depth. A powerful, active, agile swimmer, often seen near the surface and leaping completely out of the water. Feeds on polychaetes, bivalve and gastropod molluscs, cephalopods, crustaceans and teleost fishes.
Remarks: Venomous spike. Be very careful when handling all types of rays.