Scat hvostokol, Sea cat
The body of the stingrays has a distinctive flattened in dorso-ventral direction slightly rhombic shape, the tail is elongated, 1.5 times the disk, armed with a long serrated spine. Anal fin not. From the top, just behind the eyes are spiracles — breathing holes of the gills necessary for respiration has buried in the sand slope.
The mouth is on the bottom, flat teeth allow them to crush mollusk shells and crab shells. The body is naked, not covered with spines or scales, top gray or olive-brown, bottom light. Maximum width of drive (without fins) is about 60 cm in length can reach 2 m (marked in specimens 2.5 m), and weight — 22 kg. However, usually there are individuals width up to 45 cm.
Inhabits the Eastern Atlantic from the Western Baltic to South Africa, including the Mediterranean and the Black sea, also comes in Azov. Normal in the Black sea along the shores in silty and sandy ground; rocky substrates avoids.
Marine thermophilic species. Usually the fish are on the bottom, sometimes half submerged in the soft ground. Summer can come directly to the shore, and in winter goes to great depths to 100 meters or more.
Stingrays are ovoviviparous fish, the development of embryos in telespci lasts about 4 months, and feeding them at this time there is not only the yolk of the egg, but with the help of special nutrients liquid. Newborn stingrays usually have a length of about 20 cm and a width of 8 cm disc
Their life expectancy is unknown and the timing of maturation, it is noted only that males Mature at smaller sizes than females. Feeds mainly on small fish, crustaceans, mollusks and other benthic animals. In search of food “floating” above the bottom, vzmuchivaya sand and silt.
Hvostokol edible, though the meat is somewhat harsh. Also, like other rays and sharks, to remove odor of urea immediately after the capture it needs to be bled. Especially valued vitamin-rich liver oil of rays, which has previously been used in the treatment of eye diseases in the Institute. V. P. Filatov in Odessa.
The mass of the liver, according to various authors, ranges from 11.4 to 32.6% of body weight, and the content of fat, depending on season and sex, ranges from 17.5 to 70.8%. In some years up to 1960 in a significant number came in the Kerch Strait, and the catch in one match, catches reached 10 thousand pieces.
Hvostokol refers to a very dangerous species because the caudal spine. which may exceed 15 cm in largest individuals. Some fish occurs from 2 to 5 spikes at once. This spike is covered with poisonous slime protein and on its underside two grooves are spongy gland that produces poison.
Local signs are sharp pain, redness and swelling, inflammation of the lymph nodes, in addition develop the General symptoms of poisoning: slow pulse, shortness of breath, profuse sweating and vomiting. In severe cases there is heart failure, low blood pressure, respiratory depression until stopping. Extremely rare fatal cases are known with the defeat of the rays in the area are vital organs in the chest or abdomen. With the defeat it is necessary to clean the wound with ammonia and apply to the doctor.
We recommend caution when swimming on uncrowded sandy beaches and avoid walking on shallow water where you can tread on has buried in the sand slope. When catching the rays need as quickly as possible to fix and remove the tail together with the dangerous spike.