The fanray is a little-known species of ray found off the coast of East Asia, with white or yellow tipped thorns along its tail.
The fanray belongs to a family of rays called Platyrhinidae which evolved 64 million years ago. Not much is known about the biology of this species. Their reproductive biology is aplacental viviparous: embryos gain nutrients from yolk and uterine secretions before being born live. Recent data indicates that mating, ovulation and fertilisation in Japan may occur from August to November. Mature females can become pregnant every year with an approximate gestation period of 1 year and an average litter size of 6 pups.
The main threat to this species is overexploitation by fisheries. Historically, this species has been fished intensively across most of its coastal habitat and it is still being fished in many areas of its range. Although it is not targeted by these fisheries, if caught, it is kept and sold. This species is very vulnerable to overexploitation by fisheries due to its preference for shallow water habitat and its slow-moving nature.
There are currently no conservation measures in place for this species. According to the IUCN Red List of threatened species, population trends need to be assessed for conservation action to take place.
- Order: Rajiformes
- Family: Rhinobatidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: unknown
- Size: 68cm (?)
- Depth Range (m): Up to 100m
This species is found in the north west and western central Pacific off the coasts of Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and possibly Indonesia.
Habitat and Ecology
It is a coastal species, preferably living over soft sandy bottoms and feeding on fish and shrimp. Females live to a maximum of 12 years while males live for a maximum of 5 years.