Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Stingray between Brisbane Water Drive and Pelican Island, Woy Woy

See the stingray? Light patch in the middle, with its tail to the left. The stuff floating on the surface is dry plant bits blown into the water. The stuff under the water in the upper half of the photo is seaweed, that sort like strings of beads.

Thanks to Ami for these stingray photos. They were not moving, she said, just laying there on the bottom waving their tails occasionally.

This is in a few feet of water between Brisbane Water Drive and Pelican Island. From the photo below, it looks like it's no more than a hundred yards from Woy Woy.

Stingray between Brisbane Water Drive and Pelican Island, Woy Woy

The second one, again just laying there on the bottom in the shallow water. See it? Down the bottom there, that light patch.

Got an idea they're waiting for the wee fish to clean them. Like sharks get cleaned by pilot fish or whatever. It was on some doco the other night.

Either that or they're waiting for an Irwin.

"[N]ot aggressive" says the Australian Museum but raises "its tail which is capable of inflicting severe or potentially fatal wounds... above its back like a scorpion", as Steve Irwin found out.

Not sure what type of ray these two are but they fit the stats for the Smooth Stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudata): "a bottom-dwelling species which is recorded from temperate waters of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

In Australia it occurs from southern Queensland, around the south of the country and north to the central coast of Western Australia. It lives in coastal waters and estuaries from shallow water down to about 170 m."

Brisbane Water is an estuary and a very shallow one in places and it's in southern Australia.

I've seen rays a few times, mostly at ocean beaches where it's very shallow and calm. And the aquarium at Manly has a has a cool glass tunnel you walk through to look at the fish & rays & sharks. Stingrays don't so much swim as fly along like a very calm magic carpet. They're rather beautiful.

Smooth Stingray, includes video, Australian Museum.
Oceanworld Manly, the one with the tunnel.


Inexplicable DeVice said...

I love watching stingray 'fly' be it on the telly, or from one of those glass tunnels - There's a Sealife Centre near to where I live with one.


Spike said...

Them docos are good. Some frogsuited camera person zooming in on the rays' bits and pieces and David Attenborough murmuring discreetly in the background.