Posts Tagged 'Reticulate whipray'

Blacktip Reef Update: Things Are Getting Pretty Out-RAY-geous!

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In the last week, our Biological Programs team has introduced two new species of ray to Blacktip Reef! 

Reticulate Whipray

honeycomb rays

Also known as a leopard or honeycomb ray, this species inhabits the coastal and brackish waters throughout the Indo-Pacific. Like most rays, these guys prefer the flat, sandy areas within reef ecosystems.

The largest recorded length of this species (tail, also known as it’s “sting,” included) is 14.8 feet!

Did you know? In addition to stunning prey, the reticulate whipray’s sting is used to help balance and steer.

Black-Blotched Ray

black-blotched ray

This large ray gets its name from the spotted black and white coloration on its topside. Also an inhabitant of the Indo-Pacific, this species usually sticks to the sandy bottom of the reef.

Black-blotched rays can reach up to 10 feet in disc width!

Have you spotted these new residents on exhibit? Be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram using #BlacktipReef! 

Meet the New Neighbors! Blacktip Reef Sharks Added to Exhibit!

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Twelve blacktip reef sharks were introduced to their new home today!

The transportation and introduction process for these animals is carefully crafted by our Biological Programs team. Each shark is individually introduced by a team of divers into Blacktip Reef. After they feel that the newly introduced shark has begun acclimating to its new surroundings, the next shark is added. The process of introducing all 20 of our blacktip reef sharks will occur over two days.

Blacktips can grow to about 6 feet in length and bear distinctive black tips on their fins. Found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, these sharks are sleek, beautiful and fast-moving and hunt cooperatively in groups.

These sharks are joining our 500-pound green sea turtle, Calypso, and hundreds of tropical fish recently introduced into the exhibit. Over the next few weeks, many other fascinating species – including zebra sharks, wobbegong sharks, a blotched fantail ray, a reticulate whipray and a Napoleon wrasse – will be introduced to Blacktip Reef! Some of these amazing animals were recently featured in this CBS This Morning piece!

Stay tuned for more updates as Blacktip Reef continues to come to life! 

New Exhibit Announcement: Blacktip Reef is coming in 2013!

Beginning in summer 2013, you will be able to enjoy Blacktip Reef, a breathtaking exhibit full of color, light, and movement located in the heart of National Aquarium. This coral-filled exhibit, replicating Indo-Pacific reefs, is active with life that guests can experience from many vantage points of National Aquarium, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows guests to virtually step inside the exhibit and come face-to-face with the animals.

Artist’s rendering of the new Blacktip Reef exhibit.

As National Aquarium guests enjoy the exhibit, they can feel their heart race as a pack of blacktip reef sharks speed toward them. They may take a deep breath as they witness the rise and fall of a 5-foot-wide whipray’s massive fins beneath their feet. Explore deeper and they may spot an ornate wobbegong shark camouflaged against the reef bottom. New species will join some of National Aquarium’s beloved animals including Calypso, the 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe, in their new home.

Reticulated whiptail ray

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Be sure to check our website for additional information and updates on the exhibit’s progress!


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