Fishy February; A-Z of a Mermaid's Friends (B)
B - Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray
Another colourful species! 💙 - These guys are found in tropical waters, typically on sandy patches of coral reefs - Even though their blue spots may seem like a design flaw, the blue spots break up the rays outline when seen from above in the shifting sunlight of a shallow coral reef - Their tail is loaded with one or two sharp barbs that can cause painful injuries, though they will only launch an attack in desperate situations. They’re able to regrow these barbs if broken off! - They tend to eat crabs, shrimp and worms hidden beneath the sand - They are considered to be ‘near threatened’ by IUCN. Their main threats are over-fishing and habitat degradation - coral reefs are incredibly fragile, vulnerable ecosystems and if not preserved, species such as the bluespotted ribbontail ray will face extinction!