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Florida Boardwalk Animal Fact Sheet
SOUTHERN STINGRAY
Dasyatis americana

Range:
New Jersey and the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil

Dasytidae family (118 species world-wide, including the Southern, Atlantic, and Yellow Stingrays)

Normally inoffensive and flees from swimmers, but will lash vigorously with the tail if stepped on or grabbed. Spines cause painful wounds that can be dangerous because of secondary infections.

Dried spines from this family of rays are used as spear tips by native tribes.

Rays feed on a variety of bottom-dwelling organisms by hydraulically "mining," or jetting water into sand to expose them.



Southern stingrays are plentiful and most abundant off the coast of Florida and in the Bahamas.They have been artificially concentrated in some areas with regular feedings by resort owners and divers to the point where they have become a major part of the local tourism industry.


Habitat: Common along the shores in bays and estuaries. Prefer sand/silt bottom, will bury themselves to camouflage. These stingrays migrate to the Caribbean in the winter. Found alone or in small schools.
Diet: Crabs, clams, shrimp, marine worms, and small fish
Status: n/a
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Up to 6 feet across (wingspan), and up to 150 lbs. This is the largest stingray found along our southeastern and Gulf shores. Females are considerably larger than males.
Lifespan: n/a
Reproduction & Offspring: Carries eggs for 4 to 11 months. Litter size is 2 to 10 pups. After the mother gives birth, the pups are on their own. Young are almost 8 inches wide.

 

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