Stingray, Whiptail (Himnatura Bleekeri)
The Whiptail Stingray or Bleeker’s Whipray is marine stingray species of the Dasyatidae (stingrays) family of fishes which is commonly found in the Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia and the Arabian Gulf.
This Whipray is an inshore marine stingray species which favours a soft sandy substrate and is often referred to as the Whiptail Stingray.
The Bleekers whipray often ventures into estuarine environments and is tolerant of brackish water conditions feeding on a wide variety of crustaceans and molluscs.
The Bleekers Whipray or Whiptail Stingray in Thailand reaches a maximum length of 103 cm.
This stingray is easily identified due to its kite-like shape and light brown colouration with small eyes located at the front of the upper disc in front of large spiracles.
This Thai Stingray species actively hunts prey items in the benthic layers by using Ampullae de Lorenzini (electro receptors) which sense electricity given off by prey items allowing the stingray to find crabs and such like in the murky waters it inhabits.
The fish is armed with two venomous spines which are located on its whip-like tail as is common in most stingray species.
Sadly,numbers of the Bleekers Whipray have drastically fallen in recent years due to overfishing. The Bleekers Whipray’ skin is highly prized by Asian merchants who produce various bag and various other wares from it.
The Bleekers Whipray or Whiptail Stingray is sometimes caught whilst fishing baits such as prawns or shrimps for other species in estuarine sections of Thailand’s tidal river