Stingrays: Southern Stingray

Dasyatis americana

Southern Stingray
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Dasyatis americana


Color brownish dorsally and whitish ventrally. Disc broad angular (rhomboid) with pointed corners.  Snout moderate, not protrusive.  Spine near base of long whip like tail.  Well developed ventral fin fold on tail, dark brown to black in color. Dorsal fin fold on tail absent.

Inhabits coastal waters including ocean beaches, bays, estuaries, and river mouths. Generally found near shore on grass and sand/mud flats but does venture into deeper coastal waters up to ~200 feet.

Benthic feeder. Feeds mainly on bivalves and marine worms and also takes shrimp, crabs, and small fishes.

Aplacental viviparity. Up to seven pups per litter.

Wingspan of 4-5 feet and weigh up to around 200 pounds.

Human Factors
Observed singly, in pairs, and in aggregations. Non-aggressive species of little danger to humans with the exception of their defensive venomous barb located near the base of the tail.  Avoid handling or exercise extreme caution. Do the "Stingray shuffle".

FWC Facts:
Signs on the Suwannee River warn of jumping Gulf sturgeon which, at up to 8 feet and 200 pounds, have been known to injure boaters.

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