Range: The spotted eagle ray is commonly observed in bays and over coral reefs as well as the occasional foray into estuarine habitats. In tropical Costa Rica where water are warmer and has abundant marine life many species of eagle ray cruise in these waters. It was noted that in Costa Rica, these eagle rays swim in the waters of Nicoya peninsula, as well as in Osa Peninsula, Coco Island and the Caribbean coast. Also they were seen inhabiting the luscious marine life of Catalina Islands, the coral reefs of tamarindo and Punta Gorda just west of El Ocotal as well as Isla de Cano in Costa Rica.
Size: The different species of eagle Ray grows to at least 3.5 m disc width and 8.8 m total length with out tail.
Weight: It can reach to a weight 230 kg (507Lbs) maximum.
Diet: The diet of the eagle Rays is shrimp, crabs, Bivalves, annelids, octopus, and small fish
Average life span: The exact lifespan of this specie is unknown. They are believed to have a lifespan of 15-20 years.
Habitat: The Eagle Rays are found worldwide in tropical, coastal waters. It can be found 1-80 meters in tropical and sub-tropical marine and coastal waters; very rare, it can be found in the brackish estuaries.
Breeding/Reproduction: These Ray Species exhibits dioecism. The Fertilization is internal. These Species are internal live bearer. Their sexual maturity is between 4-6 years of age. The male Rays pursue the females during the mating season. Once the male catches up with the female, it inserts its clasper into the female Spotted Eagle Ray. Their mating process takes 30 to 90 seconds to complete. Females of this species are known to mate with more than one male during one single mating season.
The gestation period of this species lasts for 1 year. A female gives birth to 2 to 4 young Rays during each reproductive season.
Eagle Rays are an assembly of fish with skeletons that are mostly composed of cartilage that belongs to the Myliobatidae family in the order of Myliobatiformes. They are usually seen swimming in the open ocean than in the base of the sea as well on the shoal waters or nice sandy beaches. Eagle rays are mostly seen almost all oceans in the world. But in tropical Costa Rica where water are warmer and has abundant marine life many species of eagle ray cruise in these waters. It was noted that when in Costa Rica these eagle rays swim in the waters of Nicoya peninsula, as well as in Osa Peninsula, Coco Island and the Caribbean coast. Also they were seen inhabiting the luscious marine life of Catalina Islands, the coral reefs of tamarindo and Punta Gorda just west of El Ocotal as well as Isla de Cano.
Catalina islands are best known for their different type of ray populations that are often observed between January-March and include spotted eagle rays, devil mantas and giant manta rays. The Catalina Islands are well known for their large ray populations. The divers often swim surrounded by bat, bulls eye electric, cow-nosed, devil manta, and spotted eagle rays, as well as stingrays.
The species of eagle ray is divided into 5 genera.
The Spotted Eagle Rays or the Aetobatus narinari is also known as Bonnet ray or Maylan. Physical attributes of these species is usually their elongated snout which looks like more of a duck’s bill. They also have bulky head and the wings that are mostly 7 feet wide and are mostly curved with angular corners. They have flat teeth which fit their eating lifestyle since them only or mostly fancy mollusks and crustaceans. The spotted eagle ray also weighs in an average of 230 kilograms. It has a long tail we well as mostly colored black with spots all over hence the name. Since they mostly live in temperate waters in Costa Rica alone you can see a lot of spotted eagle rays swimming or sometimes breaching up in the air in Catalina Islands and other beaches.
One species on these genera is the Common Eagle ray or the Myliobatis Aquila. They can be seen inhabiting the shallow waters and estuaries of Southern North Sea, Mediterrenean Sea and in South Africa. These species has slender but circular ectoral fins. They are usually brown at the back and unlike the spotted eagle ray they have no markings what so ever. The front skin is paler than the back. They have wings that are approximately 150 centimeters wide. They also possess a tail like most rays have.
The cownose ray or the Rhinoptera bonasus are member of the eagle ray family. They are usually has a brown dorsal color while ventral color is some sort of white or yellow. Male Cownose ray measures up to 35 inches wide and weighs 26 lbs while female just have the width of 28 inches and but a weight of 36 lbs. Their tail has a stinger which one can feel like a bee sting. These species swam the waters of Atlantic and Caribbean and mostly seen in New England, United States and South of Brazil. Their main diet includes clams, oysters and other invertebrates.
Bull Ray or Pteromylaeus bovines are known for its name because of the shape of its head. It also has elongated and circular but flattened snout. Females are believed to be bigger and heavier that the males. Their average body normally grow up to 250 centimeters in length. And has a width of 180 and weighs approximately 100 kilograms. Their tail spine measures 61 millimeters long for female and 32 millimeters in males.
Manta Rays are believed to be member of the eagle ray species. They are considered as the biggest kin of the ray family. They measures up to 22 feet wide and weighs 1,350 kilograms. They are usually endemic in tropical and temperate waters all over the world. One can see this giant beast in the waters of Costa Rica.
Depending on the species of eagle ray but mostly their diets includes mollusks and crustaceans. It is also believed that these eagle rays breach above the water surface. Some species that belongs to this family like the Spotted eagle rays were listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “near threatened” and some includes in their “vulnerable” list. It was due to fishing and water pollutions all over the world. So it clearly concludes that human is still their greatest threat.