Living Coasts Aquarium has bred a venomous fish for the first time. The new arrival is the first Blue Spotted Stingray is only the second one ever born in the UK. According to Living Coasts zoo keeper Stuart McGeachie, “It was born in July, live and fully formed, complete with stinging barb and claspers - male appendages. It was about 10 centimeters across - they grow to around 30 to 35 centimeters.”
Torquay’s coastal zoo is home to three adult blue spotted stingrays – males Zorro and Baby Boy, and female Baby Boo. McGeachie added, “We are not sure which male is the father, as both were seen trying to mate with the female. Zorro is the larger of the two, so we suspect it is him!”
Living Coasts director Elaine Hayes said: “They are seen in aquariums, but they get confused with blue-spotted ribbontail rays (Taeniura lymma ). Because of this it is very difficult to establish numbers. The records say there are just 42 in collections, with only 3 births in the last 12 months, not including ours.”
The blue spotted stingray (Dasyatis kuhlii) is light green with blue spots. A member of the shark family, this saltwater fish is found in shallow tropical waters. It has venomous barbs on its tail.