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Pastinachus sephen  (Forsskål, 1775)

Cowtail stingray
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Pastinachus sephen   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Pastinachus sephen (Cowtail stingray)
Pastinachus sephen
Picture by Banks, I.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Myliobatiformes (Stingrays) > Dasyatidae (Stingrays)
Etymology: Pastinachus: Latin, pastinaca = a sting ray (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range ? - 60 m (Ref. 6871).   Tropical; 32°N - 32°S

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 96 - 100 cm
Max length : 183 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 37816); common length : 65.0 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 27550)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0. A large, plain, dark stingray with an angular snout and pectoral disc; tail long and broad-based, less than twice body length, and with no upper caudal finfold but with high lower caudal finfold- 2 to 3 times depth of tail but not reaching tail tip; no large thorns; 1 or 2 long stings on tail, further behind tail base than in most stingrays; unique hexagonal, high-crowned teeth (Ref. 5578). Dark brown or black dorsally without conspicuous markings, white ventrally (Ref. 5578). Tail black (Ref. 3263).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea, Persian Gulf and South Africa to Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Melanesia and the Arafura Sea (Ref. 9819).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in lagoons, reef flats, and reef faces (Ref. 12951). Also in rivers far from the sea (Ref. 5578). Feeds on bony fishes, worms, shrimp, and crabs (Ref. 12951). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Adults are sometimes accompanied by remoras or members of the trevally family (Ref. 6871). Size at birth about 18 cm WD or larger (Ref. 6871). Flesh utilized as food and skin used for polishing wood (Ref. 4832). Possibly caught by sports anglers (Ref. 5578). Recently there is a targeted fishery on this species for its skin, which is used as 'shagreen' in fashion accessories, from wallets to fancy pens; as a result, the species is in danger of disappearance (IHT 26.11.2005, p.5). Maximum length about 300 cm TL (Ref. 30573).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205). Size at birth ~ 18 cm WD (Ref.58048).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : McEachran, John | Collaborators

Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994. Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Venomous




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5312   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01202 (0.00492 - 0.02938), b=3.03 (2.81 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.7   ±0.60 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Assuming Fec<10).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (90 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.