Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Myliobatiformes
(Stingrays) > Dasyatidae
Etymology: Dasyatis: Greek, dasys = rough, dense (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 0 - 476 m (Ref. 5578), usually 0 - 200 m (Ref. 89422). Temperate, preferred ?
Indo-West Pacific: southern Mozambique and South Africa (Ref. 5578), New Zealand, and temperate and subtropical coasts of Australia. Accounts of this species from Thailand may be of the closely related Dasyatis matsubarai.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 430 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5578); common length : 125 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9258)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 0. A huge, thick, plain stingray with a bluntly angular snout, and a pectoral disc with round tips; tail thick-based and shorter than body (longer in young) with a small upper and a long lower caudal finfold, the lower not reaching the tail tip; disc smooth except for large, slender thorn on tail in front of stings; often 2 stings, the front one small, the rear one huge (Ref. 5578). Grey-brown or bluish-grey dorsally with a row small, pale blue spots at each pectoral fin base; white ventrally; tail plain (Ref. 5578). The caudal fin is replaced by a long whip-like tail (Ref. 26346). Tail shorter than or the same length as the disc (Ref. 26346).
Occurs offshore, on the outer shelf and uppermost slope; sometimes close inshore (Ref. 5578), in very shallow ( 0 m) depths (Ref. 26346). Found on sandy bottoms, in bays, harbors, and near rocky reefs (Ref. 12951). Often in aggregations (Ref. 12951). Feeds on fishes, bivalves, squid, and crustaceans (Ref. 12951). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Reputed to be the largest stingray in the world weighing more than 350,000 g (Ref. 6871). Frequently raises its tail in a scorpion-like fashion when approached, but is considered more as inquisitive rather than aggressive (Ref. 6871). The barbed tail however can inflict a severe or potentially fatal wound (Ref. 6871). Sometimes caught by anglers (Ref. 5578).
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). During courtship, the male will hold onto the pectoral margin of a female (sometimes for hours) as she swims through the water. The male flips under the female and inserts a clasper. The male beats his tail from side to side to move the clasper backward and forward in the cloca. Copulation lasts 3-5 minutes. Males have been observed to nudge the female's abdomen during parturition. Viviparous, young born at about 36 cm WD (Ref. 6871).
Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994. Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01259 (0.00536 - 0.02954), b=3.03 (2.82 - 3.24), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.51 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years ().
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (87 of 100) .