Albino ray goes on display


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An unusual albino ray is to go on display at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth.

The locally caught fish is believed to be the first albino ray to be found in British waters, with its lack of camouflage making it a wonder it has survived predation.

The fish is currently in quarantine in the aquarium before it is moved out into one of the displays.

The 80cm-long albino ray, nicknamed ~Gamma Ray , has surprised staff at the Blue Reef Aquarium by its survival.

Normally rays use their patterned upper bodies to camouflage themselves with their surroundings, Curator Robbie Robinson told the Daily Mail.

But Gamma Ray would have stuck out like a sore thumb on the sea bed, so he's done pretty well not to get eaten by a predator.

Along with eluding potential predators, the complete lack of markings on the ray has caused the identification of its species to similarly elude aquarium staff and experts from the University of Portsmouth.

There are at least 12 different ray and skate species found in British waters and many of them can only really be identified by specific patterns and markings, said Robinson.

Being an albino means Gamma Ray simply doesn't have any of these so accurate identification is proving difficult at the moment.

The aquarium reports the ray to be feeding well, with improving health since its capture in a trawler net, in preparation for its imminent move into a main display.

Blue Reef Aquarium was unable to provide an image of the fish for publication.