close map

Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Seaside Touch Pool (Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from Chesapeake Bay south to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Prefers shallow marine and brackish habitats with sand, silt, mud or seagrass bottom.
  • Commonly found at depths of 1 to 70 feet (1 to 21.3 m).
  • Will occasionally move into freshwater rivers and estuaries.

Physical Characteristics

  • Males can reach a maximum width of 12.8 inches (32.6 cm), females a maximum of 14.6 inches (37 cm).
  • Exhibits counter-shading. The ventral side is very pale and the dorsal is brown to yellowish tan. 
  • A very round ray with a triangular snout. Like all rays, the gills are on the underside, and spiracles are present.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists mainly of benthic invertebrates such as bivalves, crustaceans, clams and worms.
  • Ampullae of Lorenzini are well-developed and are used to detect the weak electrical fields of prey in the sand. 

Reproduction / Growth

  • Females give live birth to young, usually numbering 1 to 4.
  • Florida populations have been observed to have an annual mating season, beginning in late fall and ending in early spring. During this time, males will develop more pointed tooth plates to aid in holding onto the female during mating.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Formerly Dasyatis sabina.
  • Stinging barb grows from the base of the tail. This is not used in hunting, only in defense. Two grooves run lengthwise from the base and distribute venom along the barb. While this can cause a painful sting in humans, it is not considered dangerous.
  • Capable of burying itself in the sand to rest and hide from predators.
  • Inshore sharks are the main predators of the Atlantic stingray, but those that venture into freshwater areas may be taken by alligators.
  • "Euryhaline," meaning it can tolerate a wide range of salinity.

Sources

www.fishbase.org
www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish