• Banded eagle ray

Latin name

Aetomylaeus nichofii

Other names

Aetomylaeus nichofii


The characteristic shape of the triangular flattened snout, formed by the fused front edges of the pectoral fins, resembles a duck's nose. The head is broad and elongated. The whip-shaped tail is much longer than the disc. Behind the eyes there are splayed spatulae. There are 5 pairs of gill slits, a mouth and nostrils on the ventral surface of the disc. The tail is quite long (1.4-1.8 times longer than average).  A spine without a spearhead. The teeth are usually in 7 rows on each jaw, with a wide middle row framed by 3 smaller rows on the lower jaw.

Features of fish fins

The pectoral fins of these rays fuse with the head to form a diamond-shaped flat disc, wider than long, with the edges of the fins pointed ("wings"). 

Fish colouring

The dorsal surface is greyish brown with a series of usually 8 (sometimes 7) transverse pale bluish bands (sometimes faint), without dark spots or inclusions. The ventral surface is whitish. Pectoral fins darkened distally.


Occurs in coastal waters of the eastern Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean off Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia), Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The sporadic presence of this species in the Maldives and southern Mozambique may indicate that it is more widespread in the Indian Ocean than previously thought. 


Marine, brackish, near-bottom, amphidromous, tropical species. Occurs on the continental shelf at depths down to 70m. 


The maximum recorded disc width is 65 cm.


Occasionally enters brackish water.

Food and feeding habits

Their prey includes shellfish and crustaceans.


They belong to the group of oviparous fish. The embryos develop in the womb and feed on egg yolk and histotrophs. There are up to 4 newborns in a litter with a disc about 17 cm wide. 


They were an important target fishery. Meat was marketed except in northern Australia. In Southeast Asia, their numbers have declined significantly since the 1960s with the advent of active trawling. The species suffers from overfishing and habitat degradation (destruction of coral reefs). 

Relationship with a person

A stingray that's fit to eat.

Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Squad Myliobatiformes
Family Myliobatidae
Genus Aetomylaeus
Species A. nichofii
Conservation status Vulnerable
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 65
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Planktonophage

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Banded eagle ray

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