To see photographs of the Leopard Whipray (Himantura undulata)
Leopard Whipray (Himantura undulata)
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Taxonomic name: Himantura undulata
Other Common Names: Leopard Whip Ray, Leopard Whipray.
Few rays sport such a striking pattern as the Leopard Whipray (Himantura
undulata). The entire upper surface, including half of the tail, is covered
in a pattern of circular brown to black rings just like a leopard. When
undamaged, the tail is three times as long as the body and tapers to a
fine point, like a whip, giving an elegant bearing to this beautiful ray.
The young are born at 20 cm wide and grow to at least 140 cm across their
wings. Leopard Whiprays are found in tropical waters from Shark Bay in
Western Australia to at least the Queensland/New South Wales border; here
they inhabit sandy seabeds in the open or near reefs and they feed on
crabs, shrimp and shelled invertebrates. When resting they will cover
themselves in sand for extra camouflage. Like most rays, they are considered
to be harmless but their large size and serrated spine deserves respect.