Recently we said a #flatshark went by the common name “Kuhl’s stingray.” Turns out… more than one stingray goes by that common name… including this one we are introducing! Scientifically known as Neotrygon kuhlii, they are listed as Data Deficient (DD) by the IUCN. We will be call them “Blue-spotted maskray.”
It was a species that was once considered to be wide-ranging across the Indo-West Pacific but turns out this was multiple species! Whoops. But taxonomic uncertainty isn’t something new in the animal kingdom, let alone Chondrichthyans. But this meant that the Kuhl's Maskray range is poorly-defined; currently it confirmed in the Solomon Islands in the Western Central Pacific, but it may be more widespread in the Oceania region.
They are a small ray species (they reach up to 30 cm disc width) which is observed on the inshore to mid-insular shelves, probably burying itself on soft substrates there. They prefer coral reefs, lagoons, and slopes. And… well, to be honest, that’s all we really have one them. Due to these taxonomic issues, scientists lack information on its life history and ecology.
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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