Over the weekend, boat enthusiasts had what marine biologist Alan Deidun describes as a rare encounter with a type of stingray, at Delimara.
This pelagic stingray, scientifically known as Pteroplatytrygon violacea, was recently spotted at ‘il-Ħofriet’ in Delimara by persons on a boat at the bay.
Publiée par Alan Deidun sur Samedi 15 août 2020
This unique stingray is named for its preference for the open sea instead of burying itself beneath the sand of an ocean bottom, like most stingrays.
It has a dark purple to blue-gray, wedge-shaped pectoral disc, which it flaps to ‘fly’ through the water, and can grow to over 30 inches wide. The tail is twice the length of its body and armed with a spine that is believed to be significantly more venomous than other stingrays. However, although painful, their sting is not lethal.
On the encounter, Deidun comments:
“A rare encounter….the pelagic stingray (Pteroplatytrygon violacea)….this species keeps to the surface, unlike most other ray species, just like skates……observed recently at Hofriet (south-east Malta)……..the species, like most rays, has stinging barbs within its tail……thanks to colleague Bruno Zava for confirming the ID and to Claudine Galea and to Zack Zammit for the photos and video…..keep such citizen science reports coming in!”
Have you ever seen anything of the sort?