Background

The Undulate Ray gets its name from the multiple dark lines on top of the animal that give the impression of undulatory movements.  Small spines run down the centre of the animal along the whole tail, contrary to popular belief the ray has no stinging capability.

Habitat

Despite being found in temperate water, it prefers the warmer waters in the south of England and the Welsh coast. They live on soft sea beds like sand and mud where they can blend and burrow beneath the soft sediments. The depths they live at tend to be relatively shallow though they are known to be found as deep as 200m.

Diet

They are adapted to feeding on a diet of molluscs, crustaceans and small fish located on or near the seabed.

Predators & Threats

A slow growth rate and late age at maturity means that the Undulate Ray is slow to produce offspring making them highly vulnerable to fishing disturbance. Currently, managment strategies are in place to combat deaths of this animal from bycatch.

Facts

  • Unlike other fish, sharks and rays possess small teeth-like ridges called placoid scales on their skin. This helps increase their swim through the water with minimal resistance.
  • They lay eggs often referred to as ‘mermaid’s purses’ which are made of keratin, the same material making our hair and nails.

 

Common Name(s)Scientific Name
 Undulate Ray, Undulate Skate, Painted RayRaja undulata
Size
 40cm-90cm (width)
Lifespan
 ≤ 20 years

Best Time to Look

All year round.

Where to find Undulate Ray