Occurrence of the rare and Endangered Ornate Eagle Ray, <em>Aetomylaeus vespertilio </em>(Bleeker, 1852) (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatidae), at a remote marine protected area in the Philippines
Check List 14(1): 1-5, doi: 10.15560/14.1.1
Occurrence of the rare and Endangered Ornate Eagle Ray, Aetomylaeus vespertilio (Bleeker, 1852) (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatidae), at a remote marine protected area in the Philippines
expand article infoGonzalo Araujo, Sally J. Snow, Andy Cornish§, Ryan Murray, Kymry Delijero|, Alessandro Ponzo, Marivel Dygico|
‡ Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines, Jagna, Bohol, Philippines§ WWF-International, Hong Kong, Hong Kong| WWF-Philippines, Puerto Princesa, Philippines
Open Access
Abstract

We report the occurrence of the rare and Endangered Aetomylaeus vespertilio (Bleeker, 1852) at the remote archipelago of Cagayancillo, Palawan in the Sulu Sea, Philippines. Only 1 previous  report of the species exists from the country, a juvenile specimen in the Pasil market, Cebu City in 2000. During an in-water shark and ray survey at Cagayancillo Island in April 2017, a female individual A. vespertilio with a disc width of approximately 200 cm, and a total length of approximately 400 cm was encountered along the reef’s edge at a depth of 12 m. This species was
confirmed by its characteristic dorsal pattern of narrow stripes anteriorly and reticulated spots posteriorly. We confirm the occurrence of this rare and poorly understood species in the Sulu Sea and extend the current known range farther west than previously known.

Keywords
Sulu Sea; archipelagic; elusive; conservation; live encounter; myliobatid