Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Aetobatus narinari, Atlantic Eagle Ray, Bonnet Ray, Spotted Eagle Ray

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head pointed
top black + many white spots, rings or short lines
tail: long, 2-6 spines

Aetobatus narinari (Euphrasen, 1790)

Spotted Eagle Ray, Bonnet Ray, Atlantic Eagle Ray

Disc greatly flattened, rhomboidal, much broader than long; trunk of body broad, depressed, thick; head narrow, distinctly raised from disc, protruding forwards; front edges of pectoral fins join head under eyes, without ridges under eyes connected to the disc; eyes and spiracles on sides of head; mouth straight to arched, with fleshy papillae on its floor; flap between nostrils with a deep V-shaped notch; teeth in single row on each jaw, top tooth-plate much broader than long, lower tooth-plate longer than wide, with chevron-shaped teeth; tail whip-like, usually much longer than disc, 1 or more poisonous spines behind dorsal fin; no tail fin; a small dorsal fin at base of tail, its origin well before pelvic-fin free rear tips; tail long and slender, with 2-6 spines.

Upper head and body: black, with combinations of numerous solid white spots, small white rings and small white dashes; lower surface: white, sometimes the outer quarter of the pectoral grey.

Reaches: disc width 300 cm, TL 500 cm; 230 kg. Reaches 15 years in the wild and 20+ years in captivity.

Feeds on soft bottoms, but actively swims around in midwater, migratory; common in estuaries.

Depth range: 1-91 m.

Atlantic; North Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Sessile crustacea
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 500
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 91