Spiny Butterfly Ray Gymnura altavela

Spiny Butterfly Ray
Spiny Butterfly Ray
Spiny Butterfly Ray
The Spiny Butterfly Ray, one of several large butterfly rays, is native to coasts, reefs and estuaries of the temperate to tropical Atlantic, both western (USA, Caribbean, Brazil) and eastern (West Africa, Canary Islands, Mediterranean, Black Sea).
Spiny Butterfly Ray
Spiny Butterfly Ray
Spiny Butterfly Ray
It has a brownish coloured topside, usually with intricate patterns, and a pale, plain underside. It is a large ray, some 2 metres wide but with a short snout and short tail. The tail has venomous barbs that give a painful sting. It preys on fish and shellfish; in turn it is prey to sharks and humans.
Spiny Butterfly Ray Butterfly in flight.
Spiny Butterfly Ray Camouflaged Spiny Butterfly Ray.
Spiny Butterfly Ray Size comparison with Common Stingray.
It can change its colour slightly to suit its environment which, together with its cryptic pattern, gives it very good camouflage in sand, mud and other substrate. Like many rays, it has become endangered over parts of its range, mainly through fishing intentionally or as bycatch.