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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 costal 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.
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