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Florida Boardwalk Animal Fact Sheet
ATLANTIC STINGRAY
Dasyatis sabina

Range:
Gulf of Mexico and south-eastern Atlantic coasts (Chesapeake Bay to Central America); prominent in Florida Atlantic Stingrays range from a medium brown to a dark brown on their dorsal surface. The ventral surface of the Stingray is white. The Atlantic Stingray is dorsoventrally flattened and has pectoral fins that expand toward and fuse with the Stingray’s head. The gill openings are ventral in the Stingray.

The Atlantic Stingray is a member of the Dasyatidae which is more commonly known as the whip-tailed rays. They are named so because they are known for their slender whip-like tails which are armed with venomous barb. The barb is the spine of the Stingray and is used for protection. It is dangerous and can cause serious injuries if threatened.

During the months of October through March, the male Atlantic Stingrays undergo changes in their teeth. Normally, the male Stingrays will have rounded molariform teeth. However, during mating season, the Stingrays use their teeth in order to latch on to females and make procreation easier. Their teeth become sharp and narrow in order to grasp the female’s pectoral fins.
Habitat: Shallow coastal, estuarine waters less than 1 m in depth, and rivers. Prefers habitat areas with bottoms of sand or silt which includes shorelines, spoil islands, and seagrass beds.
Diet: Benthic invertebrates: tube anemones, Polychaete worms, amphipods, mysids, isopods, bivalves, the calcified discs of brittles stars, crustaceans, clams, and serpent stars.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult:

Length: 109 centimeters (disc width [DW], the pectoral fins, and the tail); 45cm DW (female), 33cm DW (male)

Weight: 1.6 kg (males), 2.2 kg (females)
Lifespan: 9 years
Reproduction & Offspring:

Mating season is from October to March. Egg development occurs over 5-6 months. Ovulation occurs almost synchronously among females in late March and early April. Litter size: 1-4 giving birth usually around late summer.


 

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