StatisticsLength: Up to 80 cm
Weight: Up to 4.5 kg
When to seePresent all year round
AboutThe diamond-shaped spotted ray is one of the smallest skate species. It has a varied diet, eating crustaceans, worms and fish. The young often live in shallow areas near the coastline, known as nursery grounds, but adults are typically found further offshore.
Spotted rays are able to reproduce more quickly than some of the other skates, making them less vulnerable to overfishing.
Although it is commonly called the spotted ray, it is actually a species of skate (sometimes known as the spotted skate). Skates and rays are closely related and look similar, but you can spot the difference by looking at the tail. Skates have a short tail with small fins and no stinging capabilities, whereas rays have a long whip-like tail.
How to identifyThe spotted ray has numerous dark spots all over its back, except for on the edge of its wings, and sometimes an eyespot is present on each wing.
It can be mistaken for the blonde ray, but there is an easy way to tell them apart! The spotted pattern on the spotted ray's back does not extend all the way to the very edge of its wings, leaving a plain brown/yellow edge.
In our area
Spotted Ray are found in around the UK and is one of the most common species found in the English Channel! Juveniles tends to be found closer inshore on sandy sediments whereas adults are found offshore on a variety of different sediments. A possible sheltered nursery area has possibly been identified off the east coast of Ireland in Cardigan Bay due to the high abundance of juveniles that have been recorded there. Egg case records have also shown that there are also spotted ray nurseries found from Dublin to Waterford, Tralee and Dingle Bays and some bays in Connacht!