Diel movement patterns of the Hawaiian stingray, Dasyatis lata: Implications for ecological interactions between sympatric elasmobranch species

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The Hawaiian stingray, Dasyatis lata, is a common benthic elasmobranch in nearshore Hawaiian waters. Acoustic telemetry was used to track the movements of seven rays in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Rays were tracked continuously over 31-74 h periods. Geographical movements were analyzed to determine space utilization and rate of movement. Rays were found to utilize significantly larger activity spaces at night (0.83 ± 0.70 km2) (mean ± SD) than during the day (0.12 ± 0.15 km2). Mean total activity space for rays tracked was 1.32 ± 0.75 km2. Rates of movement were also significantly higher at night (0.34 ± 0.30 km h-1) than during the day (0.15 ± 0.22 km h-1). Average straight-line swimming speed was 0.64 ± 0.16 km h-1, with a maximum observed swimming speed of 1.9 km h-1. Tidal stage had no effect on rate of movement. Comparison with previously published data on juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks, Sphyrna lewini, in Kaneohe Bay revealed a high degree of overlap in habitat use and time of activity, suggesting possible ecological interactions between these two species.

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Marine Biology