Javanese cownose ray (Rhinoptera javanica)

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Close up of a Javanese cownose ray
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Javanese cownose ray fact file

Javanese cownose ray description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassChondrichthyes
OrderRajiformes
FamilyRhinopteridae
GenusRhinoptera (1)

Cownose rays (Rhinoptera) have earned their common name for their unusual-looking heads, which feature a double-lobed snout and indented forehead (2). As with most rays, the body is flattened, with the pectoral fins broadly expanded and fused with the head and trunk to form a disc (3). This smooth-skinned species is characterised by a kite-shaped body-disc, which is brown on the upper surface and white below (2) (3). The long, thin, whip-like tails of cownose rays (Rhinoptera) are distinctly demarcated from the body and armed with one or more stings.

French
Mourine Javanaise.
Size
Body width: up to 150 cm (2)
Weight
up to 4,500 kg (2)
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Javanese cownose ray biology

This species is sometimes found in extremely large groups, with schools of up to 500 rays having been reported (2) (3). Feeding on a diet of clams, oysters and crustaceans (2), the ray uses its large plate-like teeth to crush the shells of its prey (3). Reproduction is ovoviviparous, with live young being ‘born’ after they have hatched inside the female (2).

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Javanese cownose ray range

Ranging across the Indo-West Pacific, from Durban, South Africa, north possibly to India, Thailand, Indonesia, and southern China. Also in Okinawa, Ryukyu Island and possibly Australia (2).

See this species on Google Earth.

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Javanese cownose ray habitat

A benthic species found over sand and mud bottoms of inshore coastal waters, in bays, estuaries and near coral reefs (2) (3).

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Javanese cownose ray status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Javanese cownose ray threats

Cownose rays (Rhinoptera) are fished for food, but not generally taken in large numbers. Of only minor importance to fisheries, they are still caught incidentally in hook-and-line and trawling operations (3). However, the true impact fisheries are having on Javanese cownose ray populations is unknown.

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Javanese cownose ray conservation

There are currently no conservation measures targeting this species.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on the conservation of sharks and rays see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Benthic
Living on the lowermost region of a marine habitat, the bottom.
Ovovivipary
Method of reproduction whereby the egg shell is weakly formed and young hatch inside the female; they are nourished by their yolk sac and then ‘born’ live.
Pectoral fins
In fish, the pair of fins that are found one on each side of the body just behind the gills. They are generally used for balancing and braking.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (April, 2006)
    http://www.redlist.org
  2. FishBase (April, 2006)
    http://www.fishbase.org
  3. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (April, 2006)
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0726E/t0726e0f.htm
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Image credit

Close up of a Javanese cownose ray  
Close up of a Javanese cownose ray

© Jeff Rotman / naturepl.com

Nature Picture Library
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BS1 5RR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 117 911 4675
Fax: +44 (0) 117 911 4699
info@naturepl.com
http://www.naturepl.com

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