Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

Spotted ray

Raja montagui


PeterVerhoogDSS_Spotted_Raja montagui_male

Spotted ray, © Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society





The spotted ray is a member of the family of rays (Rajidae) and the order of rays and skates.

Juveniles of this small species can often be observed on silt, sand and gravel seabeds in the shallow coastal waters of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, from Morocco to the Shetland Islands and Denmark, but also in the Mediterranean, that seems to have the largest known population. Adult animals can be found in offshore, somewhat deeper waters with a sandy or gravel bottom.

This species uses a soft substrate as camouflage and a lair, patiently waiting for prey. The spotted ray mainly feeds on crustaceans, worms, cephalopods en small fish. The larger the ray, the large the prey. It can detect its prey by detecting the weak electric fields generated by it, and can also generate its own electric field.
The spotted ray lays eggs  (it is oviparous). The eggs are laid in summer, are elongated and have rigid ‘horns’ on each corner. They are deposited in mud, silt or sand and are five to eight centimeters long with a width of three to five centimeters. The young hatch after five to six months at a length of 11 to 12 centimeters.


  • Maximum length: 60 cm
  • Maximum weight: ? kg
  • Maximum lifespan: 18 years
  • Habitat: 0 to 280 meter depth
  • Catches: populations appear to be stable. This ray species is often caught in trawl nets and as bycatch.
  • Status: ‘Least Concern’ on the international IUCN Red List (










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