Southern Stingrays, Dasyatis americana
Taxonomy Animalia Chordata Elasmobranchii Rajiformes Dasyatidae Dasyatis americana
Description & Behavior
Southern stingrays, Dasyatis americana (Hildebrand and Schroeder, 1928), measure up to about 2 m from wingtip to wingtip and can weigh up to 136 kg. Their disc, or body, has sharp corners and short spines on their upper surface and are olive brown/green in color in adults, gray in juveniles. The underside of their disk is whitish in color. Their tails have a long barb used for defense. They are observed singly, in pairs, or in migrating schools.
World Range & Habitat
Southern stingrays can be found in the western Atlantic from as far north as the coast of New Jersey, around the northern Gulf of Mexico and south to southern Brazil. These stingrays prefer sandy bottoms, seagrass beds, lagoons and reefs, and are often seen near cleaning stations where they are cleaned of parasites by bluehead wrasses and Spanish hogfishes.
Feeding Behavior (Ecology)
Dasyatis americana is ovoviviparous. This species mating habits include distinct pairing with embrace where the male mounts the female dorsally.
Ovoviviparous: eggs are retained within the body of the female in a brood chamber where the embryo develops, receiving nourishment from a yolk sac. This is the method of reproduction for the "live-bearing" fishes where the pups hatch from their egg capsules inside the mother's uterus and are born soon afterward. Also known as aplacental viviparous.
Conservation Status & Comments
Southern stingrays are equipped with a serrated spine that is capable of inflicting a painful laceration if the stingrays are provoked.
References & Further Research
Research Dasyatis americana » Barcode of Life ~ BioOne ~ Biodiversity Heritage Library ~ CITES ~ Cornell Macaulay Library [audio / video] ~ Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) ~ ESA Online Journals ~ FishBase ~ Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department ~ GBIF ~ Google Scholar ~ ITIS ~ IUCN RedList (Threatened Status) ~ Marine Species Identification Portal ~ NCBI (PubMed, GenBank, etc.) ~ Ocean Biogeographic Information System ~ PLOS ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS
Feedback & Citation
Start or join a discussion about this species below or send us an email to report any errors or submit suggestions for this page. We greatly appreciate all feedback!
Help Protect and Restore Ocean Life
Help us protect and restore marine life by supporting our various online community-centered marine conservation projects that are effectively sharing the wonders of the ocean with millions each year around the world, raising a balanced awareness of the increasingly troubling and often very complex marine conservation issues that affect marine life and ourselves directly, providing support to marine conservation groups on the frontlines that are making real differences today, and the scientists, teachers and students involved in the marine life sciences.
With your support, most marine life and their ocean habitats can be protected, if not restored to their former natural levels of biodiversity. We sincerely thank our thousands of members, donors and sponsors, who have decided to get involved and support the MarineBio Conservation Society.