Aetomylaeus vespertilio (Bleeker, 1852)
Aetomylaeus vespertilio (Bleeker, 1852)

Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Aetomylaeus vespertilio

English Name: Ornate eagle ray

Creole Name: Lare dore

French Name: -

IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN)


Dorsal spines: 3; Dorsal rays: 25-27; Anal rays: 24-25.

Greyish to greenish brown dorsally, with small pale spots. Whitish ventrally with yellow spots that can coalesce to form a reticulum particularly posteriorly.  3 large 
oval white spots along the back and a small one dorsally on caudal peduncle; a broad white streak often on side of body posterior to upper end of gill opening. White 
blotches and mid-lateral stripe can disappear with growth.  An oblique groove before the eye; large bony scales behind gill opening. Caudal peduncle depressed, slender 
and tapering. Yellow bands on dorsal and anal fins. Caudal fin, yellow with white bars and stripes pattern and diffuse black margin, double emarginate, lobes longer 
with growth.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 60cm TL

Habitat and Ecology:

Reef associated. Inhabits mud and silt sand bottoms (depth 7-350m), usually 7-100m depth on sand, sponge, and weed bottoms. Feeds on benthic animals, including crabs, 
molluscs and sea urchins. Juveniles in sheltered coastal bays and estuaries.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in both the fish trap and hand line fisheries and is, along with Sufflamen fraenatum, 
the most commonly caught triggerfish in the artisanal fishery.




Abalistes stellaris is a synonym for this species.


Bray, D.J. (2018).  Abalistes stellatus in Fishes of Australia, (30/10/18). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2018). FishBase  (30/10/18)
Matsuura, K. (2015). Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyol Res (2015) 
62:72–113 DOI 10.1007/s10228-014-0444-5  
Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. (2015). Abalistes stellatus. The IUCN Red List 2015: e.T193587A56996805. (18/06/22). .
Matsuura K, Yoshino T (2004). A new triggerfish of the genus Abalistes (Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae) from the western Pacific. Rec Aust Mus 56:189-194
Smith, M & Heemstra, P Eds. (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


Nevill, J.E.G. & Mason-Parker, C. (2019). Abalistes stellatus, Starry triggerfish. Seychelles Seatizens.  (updated 18/06/22).

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Large eagle ray, grey dorsally numerous transverse black lines anteriorly transitioning to rings posteriorly and continuing with barring or spotting effect on to 
tail. Head with several black spots and stripes. The tail has no spine. Ventral surface white. Disc broad but short, length about half DW. Pectoral fins weakly falcate.


Maturity: Males mature at approx. 170cm DW, female size at maturity unknown. Max: attains at least 300cm DW, possibly 350cm DW (up to 600cm TL).

Habitat and Ecology:

Little is known about this species. Found on banks and coral reefs from 1 -110m depth. Ovoviviparous.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the net fishery and occasionally harpooned. It is a relatively rare component of the catch.


Australian Museum (2012). (09/08/18).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2018). FishBase. (09/08/18).
GBIF Secretariat (2017). Aetomylaeus vespertilio (Bleeker, 1852) GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2018-08-09.
White, W.T. & Kyne, P.M. (2016). Aetomylaeus vespertilio. The IUCN Red List 2016: e.T60121A68607665. (12/03/19). (2018). (09/08/18).
Last, P.R. et al (2016). Rays of the World. CSIRO Publishing ISBN 9781501705328 


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Aetomylaeus vespertilio, Ornate eagle ray. Seychelles Seatizens. (Edited 29/09/21).

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