Scientific name

Aetobatus narinari

Locally known as

IUCN status

Near threatened.


This species' name comes from its distinctive spots, which cover the back of its 16ft body. It has an extraordinary wingspan of up to 10ft.

Key threats

Fishing, polluted waters and habitat destruction.

Where they're found today

Found globally in tropical regions, including the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans.

Abu Dhabi’s efforts

 Fishing of the Spotted Eagle Ray is banned throughout the year in the UAE and the species is included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which ensures that international trade does not threaten their survival.

Fun facts

1. Male eagle rays bite the wings of their mate during courtship.
2. The species defends itself from potential predators using barbed stingers on its tail.
3. A Spotted Eagle Ray's pattern is unique to each individual, just like a fingerprint.
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