Round ribbontail ray (Taeniurops meyeni)

Round ribbontail ray
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Round ribbontail ray fact file

Round ribbontail ray description

GenusTaeniura (1)

As with most rays, the body of this large stingray is flattened and disc-shaped, with the pectoral fins broadly expanded and joined to the head and body. The tail is distinctly demarcated from the disc-like body, relatively narrow, and about as long as the body length. The round ribbontail ray has a circular-shaped disc that has a mottled pattern of black, grey and white spots and blotches on its upper surface, while the tail is uniformly black behind the sting (3) (4). The underside is pale, while the edges of the body disc and under-surface of the tail are a greyish-brown to black (3). A deep and prominent skin fold runs along the underside of the tail (2) (4).

Also known as
black-blotched Stingray, black-spotted Stingray, blotched fantail ray, blotched ribbontail ray, fantail Stingray, giant Reef Ray, marbled fantail ray, marbled ray, marbled ribbontail ray, marbled stingray, speckled stingray.
Taeniura melanospilos, Taeniura meyeni.
Pastenague Eventail.
Total length: up to 330 cm (2)
Disc width: up to 180 cm (3)
up to 150 kg (2)

Round ribbontail ray biology

The round ribbontail ray feeds on bottom-dwelling fish, crabs and shrimp (2); the positioning of the mouth on the underside of the body is perfect for scooping up animals hiding in the sand.

These rays can be found singly or in aggregations (2). Reproduction is ovoviviparous, with up to seven live young being born per litter (6).


Round ribbontail ray range

Found throughout the East and West Pacific, Red Sea and Indian Ocean (5). Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to southern Japan, Micronesia, tropical Australia and Lord Howe Island (2). Eastern Pacific: known only from oceanic islands (Cocos and the Galapagos), where the species is very common, but individuals may also colonise waters around the Central America mainland (2) (5).

See this species on Google Earth.


Round ribbontail ray habitat

Occurs in a range of habitats, from shallow lagoons to outer reef slopes, to depths of 500 m (2).


Round ribbontail ray status

The round ribbontail ray (Taeniurops meyeni) is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Round ribbontail ray threats

The round ribbontail ray is reportedly caught by trawl nets, gill nets and hook lines in Malaysia (3), although it may also be affected by fisheries elsewhere. Additionally, the ray is sought by surf and ski boat anglers in southern Africa, but is usually released unharmed (2).


Round ribbontail ray conservation

There are currently no conservation measures targeting this species. The ray is found in various protected areas, however, such as Lord Howe Island Marine Park (7). The longevity record for a specimen in an aquarium is 81 days, suggesting that captive breeding is not a viable option in efforts to increase numbers of this animal (2).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Method of reproduction whereby the egg shell is weakly formed and young hatch inside the female; they are nourished by their yolk sac and then ‘born’ live.
Pectoral fins
In fish, the pair of fins that are found one on each side of the body just behind the gills. They are generally used for balancing and braking.


  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2011)
  2. FishBase (April, 2006)
  3. Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (MFRDMD) (April, 2006)
  4. Marine Themes (April, 2006)
  5. Elasmodiver (April, 2006)
  6. (April, 2006)
  7. Australian Government: Department of Environment and Heritage (April, 2006)

Image credit

Round ribbontail ray  
Round ribbontail ray

© Andy Murch /


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