Blue spotted ray

Share your experiences, tips and advice of diving and snorkeling in the Red Sea.

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Andy
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Blue spotted ray

Post by Andy » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:43 pm

Can anyone tell me if the blue spotted ray is dangerous. ?



Silent Diver
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Post by Silent Diver » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:27 pm

Can anyone tell me if the blue spotted ray is dangerous. ?
I guess if you slapped somebody round the head with one :D

The blue spotted lagoon ray is a member of the stingray family and on it's tail there is a large barb, the tip of which does contain a toxin.
However, as with almost every marine life injury, it is a direct result of a defensive reaction on the animals behalf. In other words, you can swim up to a blue spotted ray and get within half a metre to take some great pictures of it, and as long as you approach slowly then the ray will probably not move.
If you try to grab at the ray, or accidentally stand on one in shallow water then it will of course try to defend itself from any potential threat. This is done by the ray whipping it's tail forward in order to try and use it's barb on it's attacker.
The blue spotted ray feeds by searching for crustaceans in the sand & then digging to gets it's food by 'flapping' it's wings. The barb is purely used in defense.
The famous death of Steve Irwin was a freak accident in which the stingray use it's barb in defense and by sheer fluke managed to score a direct hit on his heart. Had the barb just stuck in his leg or something then it is unlikely that it would have proved fatal.
When you enter another creature's habitat, you are the intruder.

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Andy
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Location: Chesterfield UK

Post by Andy » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:24 pm

Thanks for the reply.
I saw two Blue spotted rays earlier this year for the first time and didn't know if I should swim away or stop and take photo's.

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