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Reproducin' Rays

 http://www.science.fau.edu/sharklab/pages/stingray_mating_res.html The stingray mating season is usually late Spring through Summer.  When stingrays are ready for reproduction, the male rays court the female rays.  During courtship, the male rays bite on the female's pectoral disc (left).  He then attaches himself to the female using his claspers.  Sexual reproduction occurs via internal fertilization. 



Stingrays are ovoviviparous.  This is actually a term that is not used anymore.  Nowadays, the term is "viviparous."  This means that the female holds the eggs, which have a soft, membrane covering, in her body until the young are full-term.  The gestation period for stingrays can be anywhere from four to twelve months!  When the offspring are full-term, the eggs are expelled and immediately hatched.  Even though the eggs are expelled from the mother, she is technically still bearing live young. Each female stingray can have an average of seven offspring per litter.  ClipArt


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