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Dasyatis americana Species ID:
A flat and roughly diamondshaped fish (1), which is brown to grey or black, with a white underside. The eyes are close to the front of the disk, and next to them are the large spiracles (2) which serve as an intake for the gills. Two small rounded pelvic fins flank the long tail (3) , which possesses a large serrated spine (4). Males are distinguished from females by fingerlike projections called ‘claspers’ projecting past the ends of the pelvic fins. Juveniles resemble adults Maximum Size:
2 m (6.5 ft) disk diameter Longevity:
Unknown, but probably over 10 years based on the longevity of other stingrays Status:
Not enough information is currently available to assess the status of this species on the IUCN endangered species list Southern Stingray & People:
This stingray is occasionally caught for local consumption, but is not fished commercially. Although stingrays are often perceived as dangerous, they are rarely aggressive and sting only in defence. Simply shuffling your feet as you walk in sandy areas can help you avoid stepping on one and can prevent stinging accidents
Found throughout the Caribbean but more common in the northern Caribbean, Florida and the Bahamas Coral Reef Zone
Found in the back reef zone where patch reefs and sandy areas are located, but also in sandy areas on the outer reef Favourite Habitat:
Stingrays prefer sandy areas, where they can both hunt their favourite prey and burrow into the bottom Depth:
0 – 53 m ( 0 – 170 ft)
A Day in The Life
Dawn: Feeding declines, and mating may occur
Day: Relatively inactive, will bury in the sand, and some feeding may occur
Dusk: Activity increases steadily as stingrays search for food
Night: Stingrays are at their most active, foraging for food
Who Eats Who?
The southern stingray is a carnivore that specializes in eating hard-shelled prey such as snails, crabs, lobsters and the occasional fish. Stingrays make large, potentially dangerous prey and are eaten by only the largest reef inhabitants, such as sharks and large grouper.
Scuba Diver & Snorkeler Best Practices
Don’t buy souvenirs made from marine organisms. Never purchase souvenirs made from marine organisms, such as corals and turtles; it is environmentally damaging and often illegal.