Neotrygon kuhlii (Müller & Henle, 1841)
Blue-spotted stingray
Neotrygon kuhlii
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Dasyatidae (Stingrays), subfamily: Neotrygoninae
Max. size:  70 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 170 m
Distribution:  Southwest Pacific: Solomon Islands, but probably more widespread in Oceania (limits of its distribution need to be defined).

Forms a species complex with Neotrygon australiae (Australia, New Guinea and eastern Indonesia), N. caeruleopunctata (Indian Ocean), and N. orientale (North-West Pacific).

Diagnosis:  This medium-sized Neotrygon of the kuhlii-complex (reaching at least 30 cm DW) is distinguished by the following set of characters: disc is broader than long, its width ca. 1.2 times length; pectoral apices are narrowly rounded; snout rather fleshy, broadly angular, its angle ca. 107°, its length 1.7-2.1 times interorbital width; maximum width is relatively well back on disc, the length from snout tip to pectoral-fin insertion 1.8-1.9 times and disc width 2.5-2.6 times horizontal distance from snout tip to maximum disc width; preoral length is 2.4-2.8 times mouth width; internasal distance is 1.5-1.8 in prenasal length; interspiracular distance is 13-15% DW; nostril length is 2.8-4.1% DW; nasal curtain width is 8-8.3% DW; mouth small, its width 6.4-6.8% DW; horizontal distance from cloaca to caudal sting base ca. 55% of disc length; nuchal region with thornlets, none from tail in all sizes; no dermal denticles; 113 pectoral-fin radials (based on new specimen); 133 total vertebral centra (including synarcual), 39 trunk centra (including synarcual); presence of blue spots that are very small and sparse, largest spot on disc 0.3-0.5 times eye width; median belt with 0-6 (mean 3.0) blue spots, largest ~2.1% DW; pronounced mask-like marking, not covered with dark peppery spots; ventral surface of disc and pelvic fins with broad dark greyish submarginal bands; when fresh, ventral tail fold and adjacent tail bluish grey (Ref. 116741).
Biology:  A solitary species found on sandy bottoms near rocky or coral reefs (Ref. 12951). Usually found in deeper water but moves onto the reef flat and into shallow lagoons at high tide (Ref. 12951). Occasionally covers itself with sand, leaving only its eyes and tail visible (Ref. 37816). Feeds on crabs and shrimps (Ref. 5578). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). The venomous spine can inflict a painful wound (Ref.4690). Caught in very large quantities in the bottom trawl, trammel and fish trap fisheries. Utilized for its meat but of limited value due to its small size (Ref. 58048). It is parasitised by the monogenean Dendromonocotyle kuhlii on the dorsal skin surface (Ref. 124051).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 22 June 2017 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  venomous
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 05.07.91
Modified by: Vaughan, David - 05.05.21
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 15.10.18

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