Description Himantura Leoparda or commonly known as leopard whipray is a rare type of whiptail stingray family. Before it was classified as an individual species for its leopard-like skin pattern, it was associated with its close relatives – reticulate and honeycomb whipray. This specific type of whipray is widespread among Indo-Pacific region with recent sightings in eastern India, Southeast and East Asia. Leopard whipray is classified among cartilaginous fishes for its jawed vertebrates and skeletons made of cartilage rather than bone. Like other members of whiptail family, it has diamond-shape pectoral fin but wider with narrowly rounded corners. An adult leopard whipray may reach up to 1.4m across and 4.1m long while juveniles have nearly equal of its adult size. Its whip-like tail is about 2.5 times longer than the disc with usually one serrated spine on top. Leopard whipray is bottom-dwelling in nature but found close inshore over soft bottom habitats with 70m in depth. Like other stingrays, it is naturally carnivorous and commonly feeds on crustaceans and other small fishes. Also, female whipray carries and nourishes its young until it is ready to hatch.
Status According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Leopard whipray is considered as a Vulnerable species. It is heavily fished for its meat, skin and cartilage. Moreover, captured whiprays are mostly juvenile, which heavily impacts its vulnerability.