Taeniura lymma is ovoviviparous. This means that the embryo is nourished by the yolk and the eggs are retained within the female until they hatch. The ray produces about seven live young in every litter. Each juvenile is born with the distinctive blue markings of its parents in miniature. In courtship, the male often follows the female with his acutely sensitive nose close to her cloaca in search of a chemical signal that the female will emit. Courtship usually includes some sort of nibbling or biting of the disc. The teeth of the male are used to hold the female in place during population. The male fertilizes the female via internal fertilization through the use of their claspers. The breeding season is usually in late spring through the summer and gestation can be anywhere from 4 months to a year.
Because only about seven live young are produced in each litter, this species is highly vulnerable to population collapses from overfishing, habitat loss and the pet trade. They also have a long gestation period making them even more susceptible to population collapse. (Taylor, 1997)
Key Reproductive Features: Iteroparous; Gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); Sexual; Fertilization; Fertilization :: Internal; Ovoviviparous
late spring throught summer
- Taylor, M. 1997. Sharks & Rays. Sydney, AU: Time-Life Books.