This stingray is known by many names, including Black-blotched Stingray, Black-spotted Stingray, Round Ribbontail Ray, Speckled Stingray, and - when its coloration is dark with lighter gray and white speckling - the Marble Ray. This large ray can grow up to six feet across and is found in tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The Round Ribbontail Ray has a highly variable coloration to itsskin, from light gray to nearly black, with large splotches orsmaller speckles covering its upper body. The common name "MarbleRay" comes from the mottled appearance of the more speckledexamples, with a darker body color and lots of tightly spacedlight, irregular spots, giving it a "marbled" appearance.
These rays are non-aggressive and will approach divers andswimmers out of curiosity, making them popular fish foreco-tourism. However, like all stingrays, they do have a venomousbarb on their tail that they will use to defend themselves ifprovoked or harassed.
This species is listed as "Vulnerable" by the InternationalUnion for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), largely due tooverfishing and habitat loss. In some areas, the ray isintentionally fished for, while in other areas it is caughtaccidentally. Both instances can damage the ray population, due toits slow reproductive rate. Its coral reef habitat is alsothreatened by climate change.