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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Leopard whipray occurs in the Indo-West Pacific from the Bay of Bengal to New Guinea, north to the Ryukyu Islands and south to Northern Australia. It is not present in the Western Indian Ocean. 
  • This stingray is found inshore over sandy bottom in the open and near reefs.

Physical Characteristics

  • This is a large stingray reaching 6.5 feet (410 cm) in length, including its tail. It grows to about 4.6 feet (140 cm) in width. The newborn are about 8 inches (20 cm) wide.
  • Upper surface of the adult’s body and tail is sandy brown in color and covered in a pattern of closely spaced leopard-like circular brown to black rings. 
  • Juvenile has gray to brown coloration with larger black spots.
  • The tail is long and slender (up to three times the body length), tapers to a fine point and has a single spine (or barb). 
  • Snout is broadly triangular and the disc-shaped body is slightly longer than wide.

Diet / Feeding

  • Leopard whipray feeds on crabs, shrimp and shelled invertebrates. 

Reproduction / Growth

  • This species is ovoviviparous.

Conservation Status

  • “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Sometimes appears as by-catch in trawl nets, deep gill nets and hook-and-line fisheries.
  • Leopard whipray is valued for its meat, skin and cartilage in some locations.
  • Habitat destruction is also negatively affecting the leopard whipray.
  • Also known as Bleeker’s variegated whipray, and often mistaken for other similar species, such as Himantura fava and Himantura uarnak.

Sources

www.fishbase.org
www.iucnredlist.org
Sharks and Rays of Australia, Last, Peter R. and Stevens, John D. Harvard University Press