Stingray Shows Off for ROV Hercules

While diving at the top of the South Point Pinnacles seamount exploring geological features near Moku 'o Keawe (Hawai'i Island), our Corps of Exploration were ecstatic to spot this stingray. Seen over 900 meters deep, this specimen (tentatively IDed as a sixgill stingray) danced in the lights and showed off its underside in front of ROV Hercules. While it wasn’t immediately clear exactly what species of elasmobranch this was, our team field-IDed this individual as a female based on its seeming lack of claspers along the tail. 

The deep ocean surrounding Hawai’i has been studied for a very long time, first by Polynesians who voyaged to this remote region over a thousand years ago and later by many other researchers of different disciplines. Knowledge acquired here previously provides a powerful foundation for applied research, such as the new seafloor visualization tools that are being tested during this expedition. 

Learn more about this expedition funded by the Office of Naval Research.