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Stingrays in Hawaii are commonly found in reef areas anywhere from 10- 130 feet. Even a little deeper in some cases. Stingrays spend the majority of their time foraging for food. Spotting these magic carpet looking marine animals can sometimes be hard due to their coloration commonly reflects the seafloor's shading, camouflaging it from predatory sharks and larger rays. The stingray's flattened bodies are composed of pectoral fins joined to their head and trunk with an infamous tail trailing behind. While the stingray's eyes peer out from its dorsal side, its mouth, nostrils, and gill slits are situated on its underbelly. Therefore marine biologists claim that their eyes do not play a considerable role in hunting- Like its shark relatives. The stingray is outfitted with electrical sensors called ampullae of Lorenzini just like their shark cousins. Located around the stingray's mouth, these organs sense the natural electrical charges of potential prey.
Stingrays have teeth to enable them to crush mollusks such as clams, oysters, and mussels. Stingrays swim by undulating their bodies like a wave or a magic carpet, others flap their sides like wings similar to the spotted eagle ray. Ahh the dreadful and feared tail of the stingray. It's tail may also be used to maneuver in the water, but its primary purpose is protection. The stingray's spine, or barb, can be ominously fashioned with serrated edges and a sharp point. Now listen up, these barbs can be fatal to humans, and which can remain deadly even after the stingray's death. So giving this fish the utmost respect is essential in having a great encounter. All in all, the Hawaiian stingray will not attack or seek out divers. The advice I would give anyone is just don't touch the stingray and stay clear of the tail.
Above is a cool video of a stingray cruising the bottom looking for food in 110 feet of water. This video was shot about 75 feet from the Corsair wreck. As you can see there is a kahala fish swimming right with the stingray. Not because they are an odd couple but the kahala uses the stingray to scare out small fish and other eatable marine life. It's like me going to dinner with you without paying for it, only to reach in and eat your food when you are not prepared !
Below is our newest Hawaiian stingray video that was shot right off of Waikiki in about 40 feet of water. Stingrays are an amazing animal, not seen everyday but always a welcome site with Oahu Diving.
We scuba dive everyday in Oahu and do occasionally see stingrays. Come out with Oahu Diving for your scuba diving adventure and you too may be able to get up-close and personal with a giant Hawaiian stingray.