PORT PHILLIP BAY


Smooth Stingray 

Dasyatis brevicaudata (Hutton, 1875)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Additional information in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Highly specialised ray-like fishes with the body and pectoral fins united into a flattened disc with a long slender tail, usually armed with venomous spines used for defence.

Family level detail.
Large bottom-dwelling stingrays with the head and body combined into a flattened disc, the mouth on the underside and a whip-like tail with one or two venomous spines. The top is often adorned with thorns, tubercles and denticles. Tail fin absent, central disc and dorsal surface of tail usually with thorns or tubercles.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Superorder:
Batoidea
Order:
Myliobatiformes
Family:
Dasyatidae
Genus:
Dasyatis
Species:
brevicaudata

General Description

A huge stingray with a relatively deep rhomboidal disc, slightly broader than long; disc smooth with diagonal rows of pale pores on sides of head; tail short, depressed with a broad base tapering towards spine, cylindrical beyond spine, with a large, sharp, finely serrated spine; tail of adults with large tubercles and thorns on midline before the spine. Greyish-brown, darker above eye and on tail tip, underside pale. To a length of 4.3 m, disc width to more than 2.1 m, weight to 350 kg.

Biology

One of the largest stingrays in the world. It is common in shallow water off beaches and in estuaries during summer months. Although not aggressive, the spine is venomous and capable of inflicting a painful and sometimes fatal wound. They feed on benthic invertebrates and fishes, and are taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries. They are live-bearers - females give birth to 6-10 young per litter.

Habitat

Sandy bottoms and rocky reefs in coastal areas, shallow bays, harbours and estuaries, in depths of 0-150 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

New Zealand and South Africa. Southern and eastern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Stingrays, stingarees and allies

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

2.1 m

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Possibly more dangerous to humans than other rays due to its size and the large venomous serrated barb on tail that has caused at least one death in Australia.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Smooth Stingray, Dasyatis brevicaudata, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 30 Aug 2016, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8021/species/10384

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