To see photographs of the Southern Fiddler Ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata) click here.
Southern Fiddler Ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata)
All text on this page is copyright protected:
© 2014 Kelvin Aitken.
All rights reserved. Students may use this information for personal research
only. Not for commercial use.
Family: Rhinobatidae subfamily Rhinobatinae
Taxonomic name (of species shown above): Trygonorrhina fasciata
Other Common Names: Green Skate, Magpie Ray.
As a group the shovelnose rays enjoy Australia-wide distribution. They
can be divided into two distinct groups: the shovelnose rays and the fiddler
or banjo rays. All are harmless and approachable by snorkelers and divers.
The five species of shovelnose rays have pelvic fins joined to the body
immediately behind the pectoral fins. They also have a translucent pointed
snout, small rear-set dorsal fins and a tail with a nearly straight, as
opposed to a curved, rear edge. All of these factors differentiate them
from the similar White-spotted Guitarfish. The shovelnose rays are often
seen by snorkelers resting on the bottom during the day usually on sand
or seagrass beds where they feed on shells, crabs and worms.
The two species of fiddler rays also have translucent snouts but they
are shorter and more rounded. The Eastern Fiddler Ray (Trygonorrhina sp.),
found on the east coast from southern Queensland to the eastern Victorian
border, has a brown body colour with shades of yellow or olive. It has
a pattern of pale lilac bands edged with dark brown and a distinctive
triangle between and behind the eyes. The Southern Fiddler Ray (Trygonorrhina
fasciata) is found from the eastern Victoria border to Perth. It has a
darker yellowish brown body colour decorated with blue-grey bands which
do not form a triangle between the eyes.
Both species can be found on reef, sand or seagrass beds where they feed
on shelled invertebrates, crabs and worms which they crush between their