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Not just a huge collection of Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.

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Shark picture - green sawfish

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HALLER'S ROUND STINGRAY

Round stingray

Male round stingray during the mating season. Mulege, Baja, Mexico. Note blue eyes.

 

Round stingray

Sub adult round stingray, Mulege, Baja, Mexico.

 

Round stingray displaying golden spots and reticulations. Playa El Burro, Baja.

 

All photographs copyright Andy Murch. All rights reserved worldwide.

View all available Hallers Round Stingray Pictures in the Shark Pictures Database

Common Names: Round stingray, Haller's round stingray.

Latin Name: Urobatis halleri.

Family: Urobatidae.

Identification: Circular disc, no dorsal fin, tail shorter than disc length, sting present on tail. Dorsum smooth (no tubercles). Colour highly variable: golden yellow, pinkish grey, light or dark brown or completely black. Often pale with a covering pattern of small dark spots and/or reticulated lines reversing in color towards the tail. Ventrum generally pale but yellow or dark near the disc margin on dark individuals. Eyes generally golden but may appear blue in very old animals. Blueness probably caused by a rheumy film rather than an an actual change in pigmentation.

Size: Maximum length 56cm.

Habitat: Intertidal to 90m on sand or mud sometimes around reefs.

Abundance: Maybe locally abundant in shallow bays in the Sea of Cortez. Commonly encountered resting/foraging in the surf zone in Southern California.  

Distribution: Northern California to Costa Rica and possibly south to Peru. Recent discovery of a separate species (Urobatis pardalis) present between Costa Rica and Columbia may be responsible for sightings within that area.

Behavior: Probably nocturnal. Lays motionless during the day. Digs for worms and crustaceans at night.

Reproduction: Ovoviviparous. Male grasps female from behind and attempts to subdue her and turn her over to mate. See images below:

A male Round stingray persuing a female round stingray

Round stingrays mating

Conservation Stutus: Hallers round stingray has been assessed as 'Least Concern' by the IUCN. It is not fished commercially, but is occasionally taken by recreational fishers and by artisanal fisheries. This species is also likely taken incidentally by Mexican shrimp trawlers, but the extent of this practice is not well known and no species-specific information is documented. When caught in artisanal fisheries it is generally discarded and its small size and large tail spine make it an undesirable target species. However, in Mexico, the tail is usually cleaved off before it is returned to the sea, which may result in high mortality of discards (Bizzarro, pers. comm). This species matures after 2.6 years with a biannual reproductive cycle, making it a relatively productive batoid. As the species is generally abundant where it occurs, is productive, and as there are no major threats apparent (particularly there are little threats to the species in southern California where is it very abundant) it is assessed as Least Concern.

Photographs: Muleje and Playa El Burro, Sea of Cortez.

Similar species: Haller's round stingray shares its range with a handful of similar round stingrays. In the Gulf of California the Cortez round stingray is similar but with conspicuous scattered dark blotches on a pale dorsum. The bullseye round stingray lacks spots but displays similar diffuse concentric rings.

In Costa Rica, the leopard round stingray shares many visual traits but generally displays larger spots and vermiculations.

Reaction to divers: Sometimes difficult to approach in the surf zone in California but easily observed in the Sea of Cortez where they are extremely abundant. Older animals tend to move a bit slower and tolerate closer observation.

Diving logistics:

MEXICO - in the shallow bays of Baja, these rays are sometimes so abundant that safely wading through the shallows without running the risk of treading on a round stingray is almost impossible. Some of the places that I have seen round stingrays in great numbers are off the beach Bahia de los Angeles, off the town beach in Mulege (near the lighthouse) and off Playa El Burro a few kms to the south. All of the beaches in this region are probably good.

CALIFORNIA - La Jolla Shores is a great place for observing all manner of elasmobranchs. During the summer months, the shallows are often crowded with leopard sharks, soupfin sharks, shovelnose guitarfish and plenty of haller's stingrays. The latter tend to favour the surf line so waders should use caution when walking in the shallows.

 

Citations:

Ebert, D.A. 2006. Urobatis halleri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T60108A12302610. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2006.RLTS.T60108A12302610.en

 

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