This time we were looking for sea horses but instead we found rays, many many rays!
The sandy bottom realm sounds quite boring, divers stay well away of it, but the sandy bottom hosts an array of very interesting and beautiful inhabitants. Today we present the skate/ray Raja radula,one of the most common rays of the Mediterranean,with some evidence towards its endemism in the area, as the specimens found off the Atlantic could have been misidentified with other similar species, not very hard to do with these rays.
This ray is completely harmless to humans, it has no thorn, like the sting rays and no electricity like the torpedo rays, however the skin around the tail is quite rough, hence its common name, rough ray.
This fish inhabits shallow water until the depths of 300 meters,and this particular specimen was photographed in Stratoni at the depth of 10 meters.All in all, on a 50 minute dive, we spotted 4 animals laying on the sandy sea bottom.
They prefer to eat any type of bottom animals, making Stratoni a haven of food for them!
They are oviparous, laying oblong egg capsules with stiff pointy horns on the ends (mermaid purses). About 80-154 eggs are laid by an individual in a year. Because of insufficient data on their populations it is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List.