I’ve got two let downs for you today, reader. Number one: if you thought the pink whipray would be a brilliant pink colour, I’m sorry but it isn’t. It’s more of a brown colour with a pink twinge to it. Number two: If you know the pink whipray scientifically as “Himanua fai ” it is no longer that. There was a change in genus name from Himatura to Pateobatis, so it is now known as the pink whipray (Pateobatis fai).
The pink whipray is a large ray (it can reach at least 1.84 metres in length) with a long, slender tail. Found through the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, its range is poorly defined and studied that isn’t helped by the pink whipray often being misidentified as Jenkins whipray (P. jenkinsii), complicating species-catch data. Much is unknown about these animals.
Pink whiprays prefer shallow, coastal waters and are often seen in aggregations here but have been recorded as deep as 200 metres. Does this make them vulnerable to human activities? Not necessarily. Thankfully, fisheries in northern Australia are often well-managed and since the introduction of turtle exclusion devices (TEDs), the bycatch of large stingrays has been reduced. The range of this critter also coincides over many marine protected areas such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which can add some protection to their population numbers. The IUCN has assessed pink whiprays as Vulnerable (VU).
did you know about this ray before?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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