From Brazil’s Rio Tapajós basin, this ray has only recently been described as P. jabuti, although it’s been known in the trade for some time as the Pearl ray.
Juvenile colouration tends to be reasonably drab with a number of eyespots, but adults can be absolute eye candy with the best specimens featuring incredible marbled patterns. There can be considerable variation in colouration, but breeders attempt to obtain the most striking contrast in shades and ensure the ring-like markings remain unbroken. Expect to pay serious money for a top-grade specimen.
This species tends to have an ‘arched’ appearance, hence the species name – ‘jabuti’ refers to an Amazonian word for ‘tortoise’ in honour of this ray’s unusual posture. Pronunciation: Poe-tam-oh-try-gone jab-ow-tee Size: 45cm Origin: Rio Tapajos Habitat: Sandy and muddy rivers and pools Tank size: 250x90cm footprint Water requirements: Soft, acidic; 6.0 to 7.0 ph, hardness 4-12°H Temperature: 23-26°C Temperament: Predatory, peaceful with larger fish Feeding: Large meaty foods, fish pieces, prawn, earthworm Availability and cost: Uncommon in specialist stores; £250 to £350