Arabian Banded Whipray: Maculabatis randalli

Family: Dasyatidae
Common name(s)

Arabian Banded Whipray.


A medium sized whipray with a vaguely kite-shaped disc that is slightly wider than long; disc width approximately 1-1.1 x length. Head relatively large. Snout elongate and acutely angular at tip. Anterior margins of disc weakly concave. Pectoral fin apices narrowly rounded. Pelvic fins wide.
Eyes small and somewhat protruding. Snout length 2.1-2.4 x combined eye and spiracle length.
Mouth narrow and arched; containing 2 central oral papillae. Prominent labial furrows and folds around mouth. Lower jaw sinuous; mildly convex but concave at symphysis. Posterior margin of skirt-shaped nasal curtain finely fringed.
Well developed sub-oval denticle band on disc. 1-2 mid-shoulder denticles; oval to heart-shaped. No other enlarged denticles or thorns present on midline. Tail long and slender, tapering gently to tail sting, then filamentous to tip. Tail length (when intact) less than 1.8-2.4 x disc width. Caudal finfolds absent. One tail sting usually present. Tail covered in denticles.


Dorsum greenish-grey to tan or brownish. Ventrum white. Tail beyond caudal sting black; sharply demarcated from anterior colour. Tail banded in young.


Maximum disc width at least 62cm. Disc width at birth 15-17cm.


Tropical seas. On sand and mud, sometimes adjacent to reefs. From shallow estuaries to at least 60m.


Arabian Gulf endemic.

Conservation Status


The main threat to the Arabian banded whipray is incidental capture in trawl and gillnet fisheries. Marine habitats in the Gulf are experiencing high levels of disturbance and quickly deteriorating due to major impacts from development activities (including dredging and reclamation), desalination plants, industrial activities, habitat destruction through the removal of shallow productive areas and major shipping lanes (Sheppard et al. 2010) which is likely to impact this species.


Dulvy, N.K., Bineesh, K.K., Grandcourt, E., Al Mamari, T. & Moore, A. 2017. Maculabatis randalliThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T47407786A109921879. Downloaded on 20 February 2021.


Matrotrophic aplacental viviparity. Litter size unknown.


Diet consists mainly of small shrimps.


Sedentary. Behavior poorly known.

Reaction to divers

Shy and difficult to approach.

Diving logistics

Arabian banded whiprays are occasionally seen by divers in the UAE. Dive shops in Abu Dhabi run to sites where this ray is occasionally encountered. Sightings probably also occur around Musandam, Oman.

Similar species

Shorttail Whipray A very similar ray from India. Distinguishable by range.