Common name: Eagle rays


Definition from White & Naylor (2016). Medium to very large rays (adults reaching at least 3 m in width) with a rhomboidal, ‘wing-like’ disc; trunk broad, depressed and thick. Head narrow, elevated above the disc, protruding forward anteriorly; anteriormost part of pectoral fins joining head below level of eyes; eyes lateral on head; spiracles lateral on head, openings not visible in dorsal view. Mouth ventral, broad; internasal flap straight or slightly undulated, not notched. Teeth in 6–10 (usually 7) rows in each jaw, middle row always broadest; upper and lower tooth plates similar in shape. Pectoral fins broad, with narrow angular apices and free rear tips angular, somewhat pointed. A single, small dorsal fin; posterior margin of dorsal fin joined to surface of tail (no free rear tip), its origin either well in front of (Aetomylaeus) or behind (Myliobatis) pelvicfin free rear tips. Tail long, whip-like, narrow-based, much longer than disc; caudal stings present in most species (absent in most members of the genus Aetomylaeus). Rostral part of pectoral fins with (genus Myliobatis) or without (genus Aetomylaeus) subocular ridges connecting them to pectoral disc (pectoral radials joining cephalic lobe or interrupted from separate cephalic lobe). Lateral margin of postorbital process of chondrocranium not forming a bar-like projection. Hyomandibular Accessory Cartilage 1 (HAC-1) present near distal end of the hyomandibular cartilage. Puboischiadic bar of pelvic girdle weakly to moderately arched and robust. Pectoral-fin radials (excluding rostral cartilages) 79–92.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Eagle rays, MYLIOBATIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 May 2024,


White, W.T. 2014. A revised generic arrangement for the eagle ray family Myliobatidae, with definitions for the valid genera. Zootaxa 3860(2): 149-166.

White, W.T. & Naylor, G.J.P. 2016. Resurrection of the family Aetobatidae (Myliobatiformes) for the pelagic eagle rays, genus AetobatusZootaxa 4139(3): 435-438. Abstract