The common name for the Taeniura meyeni (Blotched Fantail Ray) comes from its coloration and tail flap. The upper surface is a pattern of black, grey and white spots and blotches which ends abruptly at the edges of the circular-shaped body. The pattern continues along the tail to the one or two spines where the colour changes to black or dark grey. The very edges of the body disc are white like the belly. From the spine to the pointed tip a flap of skin runs along the underside of the tail.
This ray has a broad international distribution it lives throughout the coastal waters of the northern tropics. It is common on coral reefs where it feeds on bottom-dwelling animals. While the Blotched Fantail Ray is approachable and at times curious, it should be treated with respect; at least one human fatality has been attributed to this ray.
Taeniura melanospila Bleeker, 1853
Taeniura melanospilos Bleeker, 1853
Taeniura meyemi Müller & Henle, 1841
Taeniura mortoni MacLeay, 1883
Taeniurops meyeni (Müller & Henle, 1841)
Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Elasmobranchii (Class) > Neoselachii (Subclass) > Batoidea (Infraclass) > Myliobatiformes (Order) > Dasyatidae (Family) > Taeniura (Genus) > Taeniura meyeni (Species)