Bluespotted ribbontail ray (Taeniura lymma) by PhotoStock-Israel The bluespotted ribbontail ray (Taeniura lymma) is a species of stingray in the family Dasyatidae. Found from the intertidal zone to a depth of 30 m (100 ft), this species is common throughout the tropical Indian and western Pacific Oceans in nearshore, coral reef-associated habitats. This ray is capable of injuring humans with its venomous tail spines, though it prefers to flee if threatened. Because of its beauty and size, the bluespotted ribbontail ray is popular with private aquarists despite being poorly suited to captivity. Photographed in the Red Sea Israel


Philippine Mangrove Lagoon at the California Academy of Sciences 

The Philippine Mangrove Lagoon is a 35,000 gallon exhibit at the Academy. You can see blacktip reef sharks, smaller tropical fish, cownose rays, a massive honeycomb ray (when he’s not hiding under the walkways), a bluespotted ribbontail ray, and a zebra shark that was raised in quarantine off-exhibit until he was big enough to do well in a multi-species exhibit. 

In the late morning, the water was circulating quickly - I assume to simulate the ebb and flow of tides - and the animals were pretty active. (This was probably because it was close to their feeding time.) In the later afternoon, the water was smooth and clear and the animals were either sunning themselves, like the adorable zebra shark and bluespotted ribbontail ray, or cruising slowly around, like the blacktip sharks and cownose rays. 

The lagoon exhibit runs right up to the Philippine Coral Reef, a 25-foot-deep tank with about 2,000 fish representing more than 130 species and dozens of species of coral. The lagoon and reef are kept separate by a rock wall. Once you’ve had your fill of watching the sharks swim (if you ever do - I never do) you can step downstairs and watch fish swimming in the reef - or more sharks swimming in a West Coast kelp forest.

Have I mentioned that I love this place? 

Bluespotted Ribbontail Stingray. They name describes it perfectly.

Bluespotted Cornetfish (Fistularia commersonii)

Also known as the smooth flutemouth or smooth cornetfish, the bluespotted cornetfish is a species of flutemouth (Fistulariidae) which is widespread in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea. Bluespotted cornetfish typically inhabit reefs and are active predators, feeding on an array of small fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. 


Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Syngnathiformes-Fistulariidae-Fistularia-F. commersonii

Image: Mkleine