To learn more and find out how to join the project click here.
Fish #35 Spotted Ray Raja montagui ~ Noel Dunn
Black 0.38mm fine-line felt tipped pen on white card 30mm x 21mm
Lighting the depths with a dazzling display
The ray maker shines down on the ray
While soft earth cliffs are eroding away
It patrols the shallows out in the bay
The spotted ray can reach a length of 75 cm and a weight of around 4 kg. A short snouted ray with sharp disc corners forming approximately right angles. A median row of closely packed spines runs from the shoulders to the dorsal. The back is a brownish colour with small black dots that don't reach the margins of the disc and often a pale spot with a ring of dark spots forming an oculus on each wing.
Breeding: Eggs are laid in shallow water from April to July.
Habitat: Found in deeper water 25 to 120m over sandy and rough grounds.
Food: Mainly eats a wide range of crustaceans, with only the occasional fish.
Range: Common in the English Channel but less common in the North Sea.
Numbers: No formal count has been undertaken but they are not considered at risk.
Fish #35 Spotted Ray Raja montagui ~ Bryony Loveridge
In and out of sand and stone
Eyes above, to ambush prey
You cannot spot it's camouflage
A master of disguise, the ray.
The Spotted Ray has a diamond shaped body with a long tail, and small thorns running the length. Usually tan, light brown or cream in colour, dark brown or black spots fade towards the edges of its wings. Its diet mostly consists of crustaceans and prawns but it will also eat small flatfish. Fully grown they may also hunt small fish. While it can be found in rocky areas the Spotted Ray prefers a sandy seabed which enables it to bury itself to avoid predators and to ambush prey. Normally found in depths between 25 and 120 metres, in the coastal waters of the UK.
I am a freelance artist and Illustrator, utilising gradients, patterns and layers in my work. I enjoy adding alternative points of interest to artworks, distorting shapes and colours. I picked the spotted ray, who's natural pattern helps in blend in with it's surroundings, and gave it something to help it stand out as a species that we should be aware of.
Fish #35 Spotted Ray Raja montagui ~ Lorraine Auton
Acrylic on canvas board 42 x 60 cm
The spotted ray is a member of the family of rays and skates. It has a short concave, curved snout and a row of large spines which run down the centre of its back and tail. The young spotted ray has small spines on the upper surface near the front edge and in the adults these extend further back. The back is a sandy brown with dark spots which cease before the edge of the wings. It is creamy white on the underside. The spotted ray can often reach an adult length of 60 cm and an average weight of around 4 to 5 kg.
While it can be found in rocky areas, the spotted ray prefers a sandy/gravelly seabed in which it can partially bury itself when it is hunting for its prey. Adults are normally found in depths between 20 and 130 metres, whilst the young rays often keep to shallow inshore areas. Spotted rays are found from the coastal waters of the UK down to the Mediterranean. Population levels are stable and so its future is not a cause for concern.
The spotted ray feeds mainly on crabs, shrimps and other crustaceans. Its diet can also include small fish.
Spotted Ray 1
Turning, rolling, flat,
Then curling upwards to break
The surface. Sun light.
(Haiku poem by Lorraine Auton.)
Spotted Ray 2
A tranquil glider
Drifts o'er rocks and seabed
With grace and beauty
(Haiku poem by Tony Colledge)
I am a Norfolk artist, specialising in studies of nature and wildlife. I work mostly with acrylic and pencil. Since moving to the Norfolk Broads I have found inspiration in the unique natural environment of the area. It is my aim to try to capture the realistic form and texture of the wildlife I observe. In contrast to modern movements in the art world, I am trying to return to the traditional values of craftsmanship over concept.
I am a regular member of the Bure Valley Conservation Group, a dedicated collection of volunteers who spend one day a week maintaining the environment of the local Broadland area to the benefit of wildlife and their habitats.
Previous Fish Next Fish
Lincolnshire Time and Tide Bell Community Interest Company is a not-for profit organisation, registered at Companies House. Company Number 10934941