Stingrays, Koh Taos' Blue Spotted rays

8th September 2017

blue spotted ray koh tao djl blog

Koh Tao has an amazing variety of marine life for scuba divers to observe. Much of the sea life is easy spot during a dive, however more searching is required for  sea creatures which hide amongst rocks and coral. At DJL our diving instructors and divemasters have exceptional knowledge of Koh Taos' dive sites. They know many of the hiding places that these animals call home and this gives our customers the opportunity to see them first hand. One of the more reclusive residents of Koh Taos' underwater world is the Blue Spotted Ribbontail Ray. It is a member of the stingray family and can be found living in the dive sites around Koh Tao. 

Blue Spotted Ray Features

As its' name suggests the easiest way to identify a blue spotted ray is by the pattern of electric blue spots on its' back. This colour theme continues with the pair of stripes found on its' tail. It is relatively small, approximately 30-35 centimetres across and 80 cm long including the tail. A useful tip for divers is to look for the stingrays tail as it is often left showing while the rest of it's body is hidden amongst coral, debris or inside caves. 

Are Stingrays Poisonous?

 A stingrays' venom comes from the stinger in its tail which whips up if someone steps on it or if it is attacked. The blue spotted ray is no different in this respect and its' bright blue spots are a warning to others that it is venomous. Even with its' beautiful, intricate design, this stingray is capable of injuring humans with its venomous tail, though they do prefer to flee if threatened.

How Does a Stingray Eat?

blue spotted ray mouth djl blog koh tao

A stingrays' mouth isn't readily visible, but it is on its' underside. This is ideal for scooping up molluscs, crabs and worms off the sea bed. The blue spotted ray also has 2 plates inside its' mouth which are perfect for crushing the shells of animals. These animals are more active at night since they follow the rising tide to feed amongst the sediment, searching for bony fishes and invertebrates. When the tides recede, they will take shelter amongst the coral reefs. The blue spotted ray hunts using electroreception which allows it to detect the electric field that animals give off. Once it catches its' prey it pins the animal to the sea bed, then uses the plates in the mouth to crush it. Pretty gruesome!

Where can you find Blue Spotted Stingrays?

Koh Tao is located in the Gulf of Thailand, but the blue spotted ribbontail ray is also common throughout western pacific and tropical indian oceans. They can be found at many Koh Tao dive sites, divers often spot them at White Rock or Twins. In the daytime look out for them around the coral reef, hiding away under rocks or ledges. On a night dives you may be lucky enough to see one out in the open, feeding on the sea bed. 

Our diving instructors and divemasters are always happy to answer any questions customers may have about Koh Taos' marine life. If it's possible, they can also give divers the opportunity to see them first hand. Find out more about booking diving with Davy Jones Locker here