Name: Dasyatis dipterura, a.k.a. Dasyatis brevis.
disc. Anterior disc margins mildly
convex. Posterior disc margins more rounded. Dorsum tan to brown without obvious
markings. Ventrum pale. Tail thick for about one third of length followed by
deep dorsal and ventral finfolds. Last third of tail whiplike. Row of tubercles
down centre line of back from behind eyes to tail spine in front of dorsal fin
fold. Pronounced central body mass behind eyes often appears ribbed.
length 1.5m maximum disc width 1.2m.
mud, or rubble bottoms often near rocky reefs or kelp forests. Generally in
shallow water but recorded at 65m.
and distribution: Eastern Pacific, from
. Said to visit as far north as
during periods of extreme
warm weather i.e. El Nino years. Uncommon in
Common in Baja where it breeds in shallow water.
on bottom during day usually partially buried with only eyes and tail
protruding. At night hunts for crustaceans; crabs, shrimps, and bony fishes.
Often found in groups segregated by sex.
Litter size about 1 to 4. Males mature at 50 to 65cm disc width, females at
65cm. Gestation period is around 2 to 3 months and newborn pups have a disc
width of around 19 to 23cm.
Morros Reef, Cabo Pulmo, Baja.
stingray – Dasyatis longus.
to divers: Reputed
to be easily approachable I found these rays to be skittish and difficult to
approach. Perhaps in their cooler southern Californian range they are a little
Pulmo on Baja’s
has one of the best reef systems in the
and is very popular with Diamond stingrays. One particularly reef is Los Morros
which is a favorite of Pepe – Owner of Pepe’s dive centre. The reef is ten
minutes from shore by panga and all supplies can be obtained from Pepe. I also
saw a Bentfin devil ray cruising over this site and all the reefs in this area
are meeting points for pelagics.
to Cabo Pulmo is half the fun as the last 15km is on a semi graded dirt road.
There are two other dive shops in the village but Pepe is the most
diving locations submitted by readers:
and further reading:
Rays, and Chimaeras of
David A. Ebert.
Fish Identification -
Paul Humann. New World Publications Inc.
Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.