Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Dasyatidae

Scientific Name: Neotrygon kuhlii
Species Authority: (Müller & Henle, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Bluespotted Maskray, Bluespotted Stingray
Dasyatis kuhlii (Müller & Henle, 1841)
Trygon kuhlii Müller & Henle, 1841
Taxonomic Notes: Investigation is vital to resolve the taxonomic issues associated with this species complex and make full assessments of its status. There may be more than five species involved in total. There are multiple colour morphs within the range which may represent different species. For example, two forms of D. kuhlii in Indonesia (i.e., the Java form and the Bali form) have been shown probably to be separate species based on morphological and molecular evidence, which is surprising given how close these areas are geographically (W. White pers. obs. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-06-27
Assessor(s): Fahmi & White, W.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Séret, B. (Shark Red List Authority)
Bluespotted Stingray (Dasyatis kuhlii) is reported throughout a wide range from the western Indian Ocean to the eastern Pacific, but may be a complex of more than five species. Investigation is vital to resolve the taxonomic issues associated with this species complex and it is not possible to assess it beyond Data Deficient at present. The Bluespotted Stingray is taken as utilized bycatch of bottom trawl, trammel net and fish trap fisheries in many parts of its range. It is relatively common and possibly more resilient than some of the other larger ray species in parts of its known range, for example Indonesia. It is also exhibited in some public aquariums, but does not constitute a major species in aquarium trade. Further work is required to identify the species involved and make full assessments of their status.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: An apparently wide ranging species found from the Western Indian Ocean to the Eastern Pacific. However, this is considered a species-complex and more than five species in total may be involved. Taxonomic investigation will be vital to identify the species involved and their true distributions (W. White pers. obs. 2007). Reported from: American Samoa, Australia, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Guam, China (Hong Kong), Taiwan, Province of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Ogasawara Islands, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Marianas, New Caledonia, Palau, Papa New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Yemen (Compagno 1986).
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands (Cook Is.); Guam; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Japan (Ogasawara-shoto); Madagascar; Malaysia; Mauritius; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar (Myanmar (mainland)); New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Samoa; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tonga; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 90
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population size in Indonesia is still unknown. Market observations were conducted at several landing sites in Java and Kalimantan from 2005 to present, and showed that the species is quite common. They were recorded at almost all landing sites (fishing areas including the Java Sea, off southern Java (Indian Ocean), Sunda Strait, Karimata Strait, Makassar Strait, West Kalimantan, Natuna Islands) (Authors pers. obs. 2007).

Extensive surveys of various fish landings sites in eastern Indonesia, conducted between April 2001 and March 2006 recorded a total of 28,385 individual batoids, comprising 54 species belonging to 12 families. The Java form of D. kuhlii contributed 42.7% by number to the total number of batoids recorded and only 3.9% by biomass. The Bali form of D. kuhlii contributed 3.4% by number to the total number of batoids recorded and only 0.7 by biomass (White and Dharmadi 2007).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A demersal species found on sandy bottoms near rocky or coral reefs at depths of 0-90 m (White et al. 2006). This species is usually found in deeper water but moves onto the reef flat and into shallow lagoons at high tide (Michael 1993). In Indonesia, this species often occurs on sandy mud bottom (Fahmi pers. obs. 2007). It occasionally covers itself with sand, leaving only its eyes and tail visible (Myers 1999).

Size parameters differ between regions and areas because this is most likely a complex of more than five species. The Java form attains at least 38cm disc width (DW), with males maturing at 22-26 cm DW and females at 23-27 cm DW (White et al. 2006, White and Dharmadi 2007). Size at birth for the Java form is 11-16 cm (White et al. 2006). The Bali form attains at least 45 cm DW, with males maturing at 31-35 cm DW (White et al. 2006, White and Dharmadi 2007). Size at birth for the Bali form is ~17 cm. Reproduction is viviparous, with histotrophy. Java and Bali forms give birth to litters of 1-2 pups after an unknown gestation period and there is apparently no reproductive synchronicity (White et al. 2006). Dasyatis kuhlii feeds on crabs and shrimps (Compagno et al. 1989).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: aquarium use

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is of commercial interest to fisheries throughout its range. It is also taken from the wild for use in aquariums (Compagno 1986).

In Indonesia, this species is caught as utilized bycatch in trawl, trammel net and Danish seine fisheries targeting mixed demersal fishes. It is commonly caught in large numbers by trawl and Danish seine boats operating in the Java Sea. This species is the second most important elasmobranch caught by the Danish seine fishery according to the total catch (biomass) and is the principle elasmobranch in terms of the total number of individuals (contributing ~ 700 kg/boat in average) (Fahmi pers. obs. 2007). According to anecdotal observations of artisanal fisheries catches in Java during August 2006-May 2007, the production of D. kuhlii increased (from 231 kg/boat in August 2006, to 724 kg/boat in May 2007). Total production of rays in Indonesian fishery statistics also showed an increasing trend (DGCF 2005).

It is utilised for its meat but of limited value due to its small size. The meat is often smoked and salted or dried for marketing locally. This is a relatively small ray and it may, possibly, be more resilient to depletion in fisheries than some of the other larger ray species in parts of its known range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None currently in place. Research is required on taxonomy and population trends.

Citation: Fahmi & White, W. 2009. Neotrygon kuhlii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161590A5459178. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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