When talking to people about the Dasyatis kuhlii we refer to it as a Kuhl Stingray, so of course every body then asks us ‘why is it so cool’, we usually walk away at about that point, admittedly they are cool, but I’m not going to tell my customers with 6 dives that we are probably going to see a ‘Dasyatis kuhlii’, it wouldn’t register.
That said, here is one of favorite subjects, a Kuhl Stingray, hanging out on the sand, unburied, unburdened and for once not overly afraid of divers. If you have a good eye for macro Kuhl’s are easy to spot, you put your head on the sand and look horizontally across the landscape for their eyes, a strong torch also helps because there eyes will reflect the light and give them away, as they like to bury themselves in the sand or silt and remain there camouflaged from predators and humans.
On approach they usually get spooked, rise up of the sand and make a bee-line for deeper water. It’s super annoying behavior, especially when trying to get a photo of them. Every now and then though you find more placid versions, chilling out on the sand looking for food. The baby Kuhl’s are usually the ones that don’t mind divers so it was very cool to find an adult who didn’t mind me getting close. Also remember this is an animal with a viscous and painful sting you definitely don’t want to step on them or annoy them when diving, I’ve seen the results first hand, it’s not pretty.