In our humble opinions, the Spotted Eagle Ray is a magnificent creature and one of our favorites to see while diving Key Largo. This video was taken by Sea Dwellers Dive Center Instructor Jeremy Weeks several days ago while he was diving Molasses Reef. Many of our divers were in the area and were able to enjoy this amazing site as this school of about 40 of them swam by. WOW!
The Spotted Eagle Ray is very distinctive in that it has a flattened body and triangular corners to the pectoral fins that really resemble wings. The snout is rounded and pointed on the tip, resembling a bird’s beak. The tail is whip-like and bears 2 – 6 spines. The Eagle Ray is also distinct in coloring, with it’s topside blackish with brilliant white spots; and the underside bright white.
According to Wikipedia, “Spotted eagle ray preys mainly upon bivalves, crabs, whelks, benthic infauna they also feed on mollusks, crustaceans, particularly malacostracans and also upon hermit crabs, shrimp, octopi, and some small fish.”
Sharks….and hammerheads in particular, especially in the Key Largo & Florida Keys area. There have been several accounts of a Hammerhead coming in and taking a bite out of one in front of divers. Can you imagine? Maybe more scuba diving excitement than you would want? One thing we can tell you for certain after diving Key largo for a couple decades, when we start seeing eagle Rays, we also start seeing hammerheads on our reefs & wrecks. pretty cool!
Since Friday, we’ve seen multiple Eagle Ray sightings off our boats. Come on down, Key Largo diving is excellent this time of year, especially with our friend, the Spotted Eagle Ray joining us!
Best to all!
Sea Dwellers Dive Center of Key Largo