Rhinoptera javanica   Muller & Henle,  1841 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Elasmobranchii

Image copyrights: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sultanate of Oman

Size: 31-170 cm disc width; 30 cm (at birth)

Max. published weight: 4,500 g

Color: Dark-brown or grey in color above and white on the underside

The flap-nose ray has a rhombus-shaped body with its pectorals extended and falcate. Head projects beyond the disc; snout divided into two rounded lobes by a median notch and a separated flap-like rostral fin on each side which are not continuous with pectoral on sides of head.
The body is about 1.5 to 1.7 times wider than it is long. The head is broad and prominent. The mouth is wide and covered by a large bilobed nasal flap. The tail is whip-like and has a serrated spine. The ray has a large dorsal fin which is situated at the base of the tail above the inner edge of the small fleshy pelvic fins. The eyes and spiracles are large and laterally situated on the head. There are also 5 pairs of gill openings on the underside of the ray.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Males court by nipping the female's dorsum. Mating pair orient in a venter to venter position, and the male inserts one or both claspers. The pair usually rests on the substrate, with the female on top of the male. Mating lasts about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialized structures.

Lives to over 2 years in captivity.

Its small litter size, its tendency to form large schools and its inshore habitat make it available to a wide variety of inshore fishing gear (beach seine, gillnet, purse seine, benthic longline, trawl etc.).

Synonym (s)
Rhinopthera javanica Muller & Henle, 1841

Common Name (s)
• Javanese Cownose Ray (English)
• Cownose Ray (English)
• Flapnose Ray (English)
• Valvadi Thirukkai (English)
• Wagla (Kannada)
• Meithirandi (Malayalam)
• Bolda (Marathi)
• Eagle Ray (English)
• Kaka Thirukay (Malayalam)
• Wagli (Marathi)
• Javanese Cow Ray (English)
• Surul Thirukai (Tamil)
• Wagali (Gujarati)
• Bolad (Marathi)
• Wagali (Marathi)
• Walga (Kannada)
• Kakka- Thirukai (Malayalam)
• Valvadi Thirukkai (Tamil)
• Cow Ray (English)
• Boor
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish. Utilized for its meat.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Intense and unregulated inshore fisheries.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine, Sandy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Molluscs, bivalves, crabs, prawns and crustaceans
IUCN Status:  Vulnerable


• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA (Record: 10/1999-11/2000)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kanniyakumari INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA (Record: 1998)
• Kerala INDIA (Record: 1998)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA (Record: 2002-2007)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Arabian Sea (Lat: 7.85) (Long: 77.93) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 42 mts)
• Southwest Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pudumadam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• East Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Compagno, LJV; Last, PR; Stevens, JD and MNR, Alava (2005) Checklist of Philippine Chondrichthyes CSIRO Marine Laboratories 104 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • Sujatha, K (2002) Batoid fishes off Visakhapatnam, north east coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 44(1 & 2) 155-162 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Hanfee, F (1999) Management of shark fisheries in two Indian coastal states: Tamil Nadu and Kerala Case studies of the management of elasmobranch fisheries. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 378 Rome, FAO Part 1 (11) Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/X2097E/X2097E14.htm#ch11.
  • Kizhakudan, SJ; Mohanraj, G; Batcha, TH and Rajapackiam, S (2010) Ray fishery by trawlers off Chennai and some aspects of biology of the scaly whipray Himantura imbricata (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Cochin 52(1) 92-95 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/5841/1/12._Sho.pdf
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at - http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/sereport/ser/stdy_coral.pdf
  • Balachandran, K and Nizar, MA (1990) A check list of fishes of the Exclusive Economic Zone of India collected during the research cruises of FORV Sagar Sampada Proceedings of the first workshop on scientific results of FORV Sagar Sampada CMFRI, Cochin 305-324 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/5269/1/43.pdf
  • Raje, SG; Sivakami, S; Mohanraj, G; Manoj Kumar, PP; Raju, A and Joshi, KK (2007) An atlas on the Elasmobranch fishery resources of India CMFRI Special publication CMFRI, Cochin, India. 95 253pp Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/4056/1/Special_Publn_95.pdf
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/571/1/Bulletin_10.pdf
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Kizhakudan, SJ; Nair, KVS and Zala, MS Demersal Finfish Resources of Gujarat Sustainable fisheries development: Focus on Gujarat 57-66 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/6060/
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf
  • Dholakia, AD (2004) Marine resources Fisheries and aquatic resources of India Daya publishing house 271-303 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Coastal Fishery Resources in Countries Bordering Indian Ocean Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-17

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