Happy #StingareeSunday again, folks! We are excited to bring you an endemic stingaree from southwestern Australia which common in shallow water over sand, seagrass, and the upper continental shelf up to 70 m (around 230 ft) in depth. Here, the masked stingaree (Trygonoptera personata) feasts on polychaetes and crustaceans.
A pale yellow-pink color, their common name comes from the dark band around their eyes that looks like they have a mask on. Behind the eyes is another dark band and their caudal tail is also darkly colored. These stingarees have pink-colored edges around their disc. To be honest, they kind of give off "Zorro" vibes for the #flatshark world. They are quite common as bycatch in the scallop and prawn trawl fisheries that operate in their range (specifically off Perth and Mandurah) and most are returned back to the ocean alive. Thankfully there are not too many fisheries in this area, so fishing pressure across the species' range is low.
Which is good, since they have a low fecundity (they only have 1 to 2 pups per year), and have high abortion rates among pregnant females landed by trawlers. They are viviparous with yolk-sac and have a gestation period of 10 months. Both females and males mature at around four (4) years. Females and males are mature at 23 and 22 cm disc width (DW) and attain maximum sizes of 31 and 27 cm DW, respectively (White et al. 2002). The IUCN has assessed them as Least Concern (LC).
ever heard of this stingaree?
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