A new aquatic species has been discovered in Abu Dhabi Waters

The specimen was collected back in 2016.

If you out on the water today in Abu Dhabi, you might just bump into the newest marine discovery, the Eagle Ray.

Announced by The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the new species, Aetomylaeus wafickii, was discovered from specimens collected in the Arabian Gulf during the Fisheries Resource Assessment (FRAS) which was carried out in 2016.

First believed to be the Banded Eagle Ray, the specimen was declared as new under thorough examination and the publishing of a scientific paper highlighting its astute physical description.

 

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The new species can be distinguished by having a larger number of pale blue bands across its dorsal surface (8-10 bands), a larger number of tooth plate rows, and a shorter tail.

Speaking on the new discovery, Ahmed Al Hashmi, Executive Director of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Division at EAD said: “It is very exciting for us to discover a new species of Eagle Ray in Abu Dhabi. This is a prominent indication that our waters are healthy and that we have an abundance of marine biodiversity.

“Within the past two years, we have discovered a series of species, and I am confident that we can make even more discoveries in the future, as long as we continue adopting accurate scientific methodologies to ensure credibility.

 

 

“To ensure longevity and sustainability of our species, at EAD we engage in extensive rehabilitation programmes so that our species can thrive for future generations and enjoy the breadth and beauty of Abu Dhabi’s biodiversity.”

Eagle rays are usually found near the coastline with their body size ranging from medium to large (60 to over 200cm disc width) with a wing-like shaped frame.

They use their robust jaws and plate like teeth to feed on molluscs and crustaceans, as well as worms and small boney fish.

 

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Image source Unsplash and Emirates News Agency (WAM) website

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