Malacca Strait Bluespotted Maskray: Neotrygon Malaccensis

Family: Dasyatidae
Common name(s)

Malacca Strait Bluespotted Maskray, Bluespotted Maskray.


Neotrygon malaccensis.


Neotrygon kuhlii, Dasyatis kuhlii.


Like many other blue spotted neotrygonid rays, the Malacca Strait Bluespotted Maskray was elevated to species status solely on the basis of DNA analysis (Borsa 2017). Collectively, bluespotted neotrygonids share certain traits such as: Relatively small size compared to other stingrays. Kite-shaped disc that is slightly wider than long. Short, bluntly angular snout, without an extended tip. Weakly convex anterior margins of disc. Angular pectoral fin apices. Large pelvic fins with narrowly rounded apices. Large protruding eyes. Small mouth with prominent labial furrows and folds. Narrow, skirt-shaped nasal curtain with an undulate and heavily fringed posterior margin.
Broad tail, depressed at base, tapering gently to caudal sting, then thin but firm to tip. No prickly denticles on tail. Tail length (when intact) about 1.5 x disc width. Long, low ventral finfold. Short dorsal finfold. 1-2 tail stings usually present.


Dorsum pale greenish-brown with a distinct brown band across eyes, and numerous eye-sized blue spots (often with pale centres), and scattered very small dark brown spots. Blue spots mostly absent on medial strip and towards disc margin. Dark reddish brown mask across eyes does not extend backwards to nape. Posterior margin of mask notched centrally. Ventrum mostly white.
Tail pale blue anteriorly. Tail beyond ventral finfold irregularly banded with white, black, dusky, and pale blue sections. Ventral finfold margin black or dusky.


Maximum disc width unknown.

Malacca Strait Bluespotted Maskray, Neotrygon malaccensis.

Conservation Status

The Malacca Strait bluespotted maskray is part of a recently split complex of rays that were previously grouped as Dasyatis kuhlii (Borsa 2017). This member of the Kuhlii complex has not yet been assessed by the IUCN.

Malacca Strait Bluespotted Maskray, Neotrygon malaccensis.

Tropical seas. On sandy substrates, often adjacent to reefs. From shallow bays to at least 20m. Max depth unknown.


Northern region of the Malacca Strait and eastern Andaman Sea. Range based on DNA analysis by Borsa 2017.


Matrotrophic aplacental viviparity. Litter size unknown.


Diet unknown.


Sedentary. Behavior poorly known.

Reaction to divers

Shy and difficult to approach unless extremely accustomed to divers.

Diving logistics

Although not as common as it once was, the Malacca Strait Bluespotted Maskray can be found fairly easily on sandy substrates adjacent to reefs in the Similan Islands in southwest Thailand.

Similar species

Oriental Bluespotted Maskray A very similar ray. Distinguishable by larger size, shorter ventral finfold, and tail that is often white towards the tip. Plus, more southeasterly (but likely overlapping) range.