Friday, 12 August 2016

Bullseye Electric Ray

Image: Steve Ryan
Diplobatis ommata

Possibly not the best accessory for a relatively small fish in a big, bad sea with sharks in...

Image: chuck sumner
Which might be why Bullseye Electric Rays are nocturnal and prefer to stick around sandy seabeds where they can not only find tasty crustaceans and worms to eat, but also bury themselves when they want to look a little less like a target.

They only reach about 25 cm (10 in) long, so it's a good idea to be wary of any big predators that might be lurking in their warm, Pacific waters between the Gulf of California and Ecuador.

And wary they most certainly are. Bullseye Electric Rays spend the daylight hours doing approximately nothing at all. Come nightfall, they spring into action.

Except they don't really spring at all. They prefer to keep a low profile so they sort of creep into action. And they really do creep, or maybe skulk, using their fins to cautiously hop over the seabed.

Bullseye Electric Rays are quite variable when it comes to colour and pattern, so long as it works well as camouflage. And is basically brown. They can be plain, light brown. They can be plain, dark brown. Or they can mix it up with all sorts of spots, blotches or a marbled effect.

But no matter what the shade of brown or the number of spots they may or may not have, there's one thing they all share. Yup, you guessed it...



Lear's Fool said...

Omg! Look at it walk on the widdle feets!

TexWisGirl said...

how neat!

Esther said...

I can't imagine what possible use a gigantic eyespot on my back would be...but then, I'm not a ray.

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

@Lear' Fool: Haha! Adorable isn't it?

@TexWisGirl: Yup!

@Esther: I wish I could ask them what on earth they're thinking, it's so bizarre!

Susan A. said...

Just imagine if it had a PAIR of eyespots. Actually that would make more sense. Silly old evolution!

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Ha! If it looked like a huge face peeking out of the sand, that would be cool!

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