Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range ? - 500 m (Ref. 37816), usually 20 - 60 m (Ref. 30573). Tropical; 41°N - 36°S, 25°E - 77°W
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 100 - 110 cm
Max length : 330 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573); max. published weight: 150.0 kg (Ref. 11228)
A large stingray with a circular disc, no thorns, a black and white mottled upper surface, and a deep and prominent ventral skin fold that extends to the tail tip (Ref. 6871).
Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to southern Japan, Micronesia, tropical Australia and Lord Howe Island. Eastern Pacific: known only from oceanic islands (Cocos and the Galapagos) but because of sheer number, individuals may colonize the Central America mainland (Ref. 28023). More widely known as Taeniura melanospila Bleeker 1853, a junior synonym based on the description of a juvenile specimen.
Occurs in a wide range of habitats, from shallow lagoons to outer reef slopes (Ref. 1602). Feeds on bottom fish, bivalves, crabs and shrimp (Ref. 5578). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Smallest free-swimming specimen recorded was 33 cm WD. Caught commonly by demersal tangle net fisheries, and occasionally by longline and bottom trawl fisheries. Utilized for its meat and cartilage (Ref.58048). Found singly or in aggregates and usually with jacks and cobia swimming near them (Ref. 12951). Not normally aggressive, but it has been responsible for at least one human fatality. Sought by surf and ski boat anglers in southern Africa, but usually released unharmed (Ref. 5578). Longevity record for a specimen in an aquarium is 81 days (Ref. 12951). May reach disc width in excess of 3 m (Ref. 28023).
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). With up to 7 in a litter (Ref. 6871, 12951).
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)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6250 [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
): 4.2 ±0.69 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=7).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (77 of 100) .