Black Stingray Click to enlarge image
A Black Stingray at a depth of 18 m, Julian Rocks, New South Wales. Image: Tim Hochgrebe
© Tim Hochgrebe

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    thetidis
    Genus
    Bathytoshia
    Family
    Dasyatidae
    Order
    Myliobatiformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 1.8 m in disc width and 4 m total length.

Introduction

The Black Stingray is is one of the largest species of stingrays in Australia and gets its name from an even grey-brown to black colour.



Identification

The Black Stingray is one of the largest species of stingrays in Australia. It is an even grey-brown to black colour. It has a rhomboidal-shaped disc, usually one stinging spine, a granular upper surface and sharp thorns along the dorsal midline.

It is often confused with the Smooth Stingray, Dasyatis brevicaudata, which has a shorter tail, small white spots on the flaps beside the head, and no thorns on the back.


Stinging spine from a Black Stingray

A 187mm long stinging spine from a Black Stingray found at a depth between 10m and 20m, Julian Rocks, New South Wales, March 2006.

Image: Lynda Clarke
© Lynda Clarke

Distribution

The species is recorded from coastal and offshore waters of south-eastern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In Australia it is known from northern New South Wales around the south of the country and north to the central coast of Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  3. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994 Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.