WHIPTAIL STINGRAYS
DASYATIDAE
Southern Stingray
Dasyatis americana
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Ben, S Disc to 150 Cru, Pisc I F
 
 
Description:
Body dorso-ventrally flattened, with greatly enlarged pectoral fins, which give them a disc-like shape.
Snout and tips of fins pointed. Dorsum (back) varies in color from brown to gray and black. Underside white. Mouth on the underside of the head, with the  gills located on the underside and the spiracle on top. Tail whip-like, with one or two venomous spines at the base and with fin on underside towards tip. Females generally larger than males.

Ecology
Inhabit sandy areas, especially around reefs. Lie on the bottom, often buried in sand with just their eyes protruding by unsettling the substrate and creating sinks in the sea floor, by flapping their pectoral fins and shooting out water from their mouths.  Depths down to 100m (340ft). Maximum disc (DW) width of 150cm.

Their diet consists of benthic and infaunal invertebrates and demersal teleosts. The most common prey are decapod crustaceans such as alphaeid, penaeid and callianasid shrimp and brachyuran crabs.

Life Cycle:
Non-placental vivipary, giving birth to  litters of 2 to 10 fully formed pups, being born at 17 to 34 cm disc width (DW), after a gestation of 4.5 to 7.5 months, and maturity is reached at 51 and 75 to 80 cm DW (males and females, respectively). Reproduction is annual.
Southern Stingray
Southern Stingray
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