Neotrygon kuhlii

Neotrygon kuhlii is a species of the Dasyatidae family belonging to the order Myliobatiformes. They inhabit the coastal waters (up to 90 meters deep) of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, from South Africa to Micronesia (including the Red Sea), and from Japan to Australia. This species is generally associated with sandy bottoms of coral reefs.

Source: FAO

The body of Neotrygon kuhlii can have a total length of 67 cm including its tail, and 38 cm wide. The shape of its disc is a rhombus, slightly wider than long and with the central part or trunk very thickened. Along the midline of the disk, from the nuchal region to the height of the anus, the disk of Neotrygon kuhlii presents some thorny denticles of short height, lanceolate, finished in flat tip and oriented slightly backwards. These denticles form a single row, with the rest of the disc and the tail absent from them. If we go to the region of the head of the specimen, this has a rounded snout, along with a small mouth in which prominent grooves and mouth folds stand out. At the top of the head, we find the eyes of great size and located in a slightly lateral way. Behind each of the eyes, there is a spiracle, similar in size to the eyes. In the terminal part of the body, we find a relatively wide base of the tail. From there the tail starts, whose length is usually longer than the disc itself, although in many specimens we will not observe it so. This is because it is frequent the wounds that partially section the tail. The tail has alternating bands in black and white colors, with the tip generally pale. Continuing with the coloration of Neotrygon kuhlii, we will observe that the dorsal surface is of variable color between grayish, greenish or brown with a dark brown stripe that crosses the region of the eyes. The surface of the disc is adorned with intense blue ring-shaped spots, with a white center. There is great variability in the number and size of these spots. The ventral part of the specimen is mostly pale, with the margins of the disc slightly darker.

The majority of Neotrygon kuhlii's food is made up of crustaceans, especially crabs and shrimp.

As for reproduction, it is an ovoviviparous species that reaches sexual maturity when the discs of the specimens exceed 25 cm in width.


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