Smooth Stingray


The Smooth Stingray is the largest of all Australian stingrays (Family Dasyatidae). It grows to 4.3 m in length, 2 m disc width and a weight of 350 kg. It usually has irregular rows of small white spots on the upper surface. It has a relatively short tail, less than 1.2 times the disc length. This gives the fish its species name, brevicaudata, which comes from the Latin brevis, meaning 'short', and cauda meaning 'tail'. The species looks very similar to the Black Stingray. They are both dark above, pale below and have a whip-like tail. The Black Stingray lacks white spots but does have thorn-like denticles along the dorsal midline of the disc. It is a bottom-dwelling species which is recorded from temperate waters. It lives in coastal waters and estuaries from shallow water down to about 170 m. The Smooth Stingray is not aggressive and is often observed by divers. It usually has one venomous spine (the sting) halfway along the tail which is capable of inflicting severe or potentially fatal wounds. This species is sometimes observed raising its tail above its back like a scorpion. Mark McGrouther, Updated 05/09/19