The Fiddler Ray forms a member of the guitarfish family. Only two species exist within the genus. They bear the names of the Southern and the Eastern Fiddler Ray, both of which seem to be endemic to the southern and eastern coasts of Australia.
Both species have a benthic nature. They most typically live around rocky reefs, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and shallow bays. The two varieties do have rather different ranges in depths, however. The southern species inhabits depths of as much as 590.5 ft ( 180 m). The eastern species generally prefer ocean regions no deeper than 394 ft (120 m).
Fiddler Ray Physical Characteristics
The pectoral fins of the Fiddler Ray appear more rounded and shorter than those of other species of guitarfish. Their tails grow long and slender, with three fins.
The Fiddler Ray also possesses a translucent snout. The nasal flaps actually connect to their mouth, via shallow grooves. The mouth itself is straight and narrow. It is also lined with numerous small, blunt teeth.
The eyes are small, and eyesight is poor.
The coloring is generally light brown, with dark and light patches.
The average length is approximately 3.9 ft (1.2 m).
Fiddler Ray Diet and Reproduction
The Ray is a bottom feeder. Their principal prey consists of crabs, shellfish, and worms. These they crush between their jaws before swallowing.
The Eastern Fiddler Ray has been known to attack fish traps, to scavenge what they have trapped.
This animal is harmless to humans. They are often seen approaching divers out of curiosity.
This genus is ovoviviparous. Breeding cycles typically produce litters of either four or six young.
As with most other species, the biggest threat to this animal is humans. The Southern Fiddler Ray especially is unfortunately often snared in nets by commercial trawlers.