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Juvenile mediterranean starry ray

We are happy to announce that the growth of the juvenile star-spotted stingray (Raja asterias) in our aquarium is progressing well. After hatching from the egg capsule, the individual was 8.5 cm long, while its current length is about 16 cm (maximum body length in adult males is 72 cm, and in females 76 cm). It is interesting that this is the species that has reproduced in our aquarium for the first time.

They reach sexual maturity relatively early, around the third year of life, and females hatch 34 to 112 egg capsules per year. Immediately after hatching, usually in January, juveniles of ~8 cm move to shallower seas (5-7 m), and gradually as they grow, they move to greater depths. This species has a relatively short lifespan, estimated at 10 years. Genetic research indicates the existence of two subpopulations of R. asterias - one in the Adriatic Sea and one in the Tyrrhenian/Ligurian Sea.

On the global IUCN list in 2015, R. asterias was listed as an almost endangered taxon, while regionally, it is still listed as a taxon of least concern. It is believed that the Adriatic is inhabited by 28 species of sharks and 25 species of rays, which are characteristics (late attainment of first sexual maturity, weak reproductive power, small number of offspring, slow renewal of populations), have become clearly endangered species that are additionally exposed to excessive fishing in the last few decades).