The bluespotted stingray or ribbontail ray is another of the fish that Koh Tao diving has to offer.
You can easily identify it by its striking color pattern of many electric blue spots on a yellowish/brown skin. With a pair of blue stripes on the tail, hence ribbontail. The body is mostly smooth with oval pectoral fin disc, large protruding eyes and a relatively short and thick tail with the ribbon stripes which has a spike for defense. They swim away rather than put up a fight though. You can find out more about identifying fish by studying this course online before you come diving on Koh Tao.
Where can you find it?
This species is common throughout the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans in coral reef habitats like the dive sites around Koh Tao. Its scientific name is taeniura lymma. You can often see them at Twins or White Rock dive sites for example in certain overhangs but are shy and will quickly move away if they feel disturbed. These dive sites are often visited during the open water course.
What do they do?
They are normally active at night, hunting for their prey of crabs, shrimps and worms. If you are using a torch on a night dive their eyes reflect yellow, like a cat. In the day time they bury themselves in the sand or hide under overhangs or rocks. They reproduce via eggs that grow inside the mother’s body for a period of four months to a year Live rays are born shortly after hatching inside the mother but I’ve only seen one small or baby one.