Diving Fun Fact

Yellow Stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis, Laughing Bird Caye National Park, Belize

The Yellow Stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis) is a small stingray with a wingspan of up to only 14 inches. It is commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean from Trinidad to North Carolina and is non-threatening to human beings. However, these rays can inflict extremely painful injuries when threatened, and most that have been reported occurred when people accidentally stepped on the rays who slash and raise their tail spines when attempting to flee. Still, lethal injuries are very rare.

The yellow stingray is aplacental viviparity, meaning their embryos develop inside eggs that remain in the body of the mother until they ready to hatch. During their 5-6-month gestation period, the embryos are sustained first by yolk, then by uterine milk called histrotroph during the later part of their development. Females give birth no more than twice per year, with litters of one to seven pups.

This ray is not one of the 45 species of stingrays listed as threatened or endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their numbers are currently at healthy levels, so they are listed as “Least concern.”

We photographed this yellow stingray during a dive at Laughing Bird Caye National Park, Belize. Read more in our post, Scuba Diving, Placencia, Belize: Nurse Sharks and Oceanic Manta Rays.

More Diving Fun Facts

Spotted trunkfish (Lactophrys bicaudalis), Placencia, Belize
Giant hawkfish (Cirrhitus rivulatus), Huatulco, Mexico
Gray angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus), Placencia, Belize
Pikachu nudibranch (Thecacera sp), Sekotong, Lombok, Indonesia
Yellowtail Surgeonfish (Prionurus punctatus), Hualtuco, Mexico
Flamingo Tongue Snail (Cyphoma gibbosum), Utila, Honduras
Juvenile Spotted Drum Fish (Equetus punctatus ), Utila, Honduras
The Bullseye Round Stingray (Urobatis concentricus), Hualtuco, Mexico
Thornback Cowfish (Lactioria fornasini), Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia
Hermit Crab, Ari Atoll, The Maldives
Manta Ray, Laughing Bird Caye, Belize
Rusty Guard Crabs (Trapezia bidentata), Huatulco, Mexico
Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta), Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Belize
Nurse Shark ( Ginglymostoma cirratum), Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Belize
Pacific Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus debilis) , Huatulco, Mexico
Pacific Seahorse (Hippocampus ingens), Hualtuco, Mexico
Translucent Gorgonian Shrimp (Manipontonia psamathe), Anilao, Philippines
Southern Stingray (Hypanus americanus), Huatulco, Mexico
Jewel Moray (Muraena lentiginosa), Huatulco, Mexico
Durban Dancing Shrimp (Rhynchocinetes durbanensis), Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
Psychedelic Batwing Sea Slug (Sagaminopteron psychedelicum), Gili Air, Indonesia
Nudibranch (Thecacera picta)
Poison Ocellate Octopus (Amphioctopus siamensis),  Anilao, Philippines
The Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus), Anilao, Philipinnes

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