Cowtail Ray goes astray

This is a 'tropical species', so what the heck is it doing in the cooler waters of Sydney?
Cowtail Rays normally live in tropical waters. In Australia the species is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and down the east coast as far south as northern New South Wales.
This observation of a Cowtail Ray, made by Benjamin Wynand, in Cabbage Tree Bay, Sydney, extends the known distribution of the species south by nearly 600 km.
It's a well-known fact that juvenile fishes ride the East Australian Current down from warmer northerly waters. Many of these juvenile fishes do not survive the cool winters. In recent years however we have seen many examples of tropical fishes occurring well south of their 'recognised distribution' and some surviving the cool winter months.
Thank you Benjamin for submitting your observation and thanks also to Clinton Duffy and Sascha Schulz for their identifications.
More information about fish range extensions can be found on the Redmap website.
Posted on May 03, 2017 01:47 AM by markmcg markmcg


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