I have seen a few jenkins whip ray now over my time here on Koh Tao and every time they are always impressive. Last night however I saw one at night for the first time and it was awesome. They seem far more relaxed at night. Where as during the day they seem to be either sleeping or scare easily it focuses far more on hunting during the night. Therefore we were able to spend far more time with it moving about the bottom.
Jenkins Whip Ray
The jenkins whip ray is a species of stingray. Not as common here as the Bluespotted Ribbon tail ray it grows to an impressive 1.5m across and has a broad, diamond shaped pectoral fin disc and a whip-like tail without fin folds. What is even more impressive about it is a row of large spear-like thorns along the midline. It is less colourful than the blue spotted being a more gray and brown colour on the top and white on its underbelly.
I’ve always loved the way rays move gracefully through the water and the Jenkins is no exception. It made it one of my favourite night dives to date and an extremely good reason to go on more of them! Unfortunately the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have assessed the species as vulnerable in Southeast Asia, due to intense fishing. To lose such as magnificent creature would be a tragedy and I hope something can be done about this as I hope more can experience diving with these animals.