Chupare stingray, Caribbean stingray, Caribbean whiptail stingray, Caribbean
Himantura schmardae. Synonyms:
Himantura schmarde, Trygon schmardae.
Disc oval (almost round) with
flattened anterior margin.
Dorsum covered in small but noticeable tubercles (enlarged dermal denticles).
Dorsal coloration grey or dark/olive brown. Disc darkens towards margin. Ventrum yellowish or creamy white. One or two spines on tail. Tail has no
fin-folds. When in
tact, tail is approximately twice body length.
disc width 1.2m. Total recorded length 2m.
Reported from sandy bottoms sometimes
adjacent to reefs.
However, (as these images indicate)
the chupare stingray also inhabits mangrove and muddy lagoons.
Western tropical Atlantic from Gulf of Campeche to Suriname and northern Brazil.
The Caribbean whiptail stingray is reportedly common around Cuba.
Photographed specimens were found foraging for food at the edge of the mangrove
during the day. Other individuals were startled out of their resting places
under the silt and algae. implying that Chupare stingrays can be nocturnal or
IUCN Red List Status: Insufficient data available
for an accurate assessment.
The chupare stingray is easily distinguished from other dasyatid rays by its
rounded disc and tail with no finfolds. The
southern stingray and Atlantic stingray
have distinctly romboid (kite shaped) discs.
stingray is the only ray in the genus Himantura in the Caribbean.
Reaction to divers: Caribbean whiptail stingrays are
extremely skittish. They are very difficult to approach while on scuba or while
logistics: It is possible to snorkel with chupare stingrays in Oyster
Bed Lagoon which is adjacent to
Deep Blue Resort in
The chupare stingray has also been photographed in Belize and is reportedly
common off the coast of Cuba.
Oyster Bed Lagoon, Utila, Honduras. These images were obtained through the
cooperation and support of Steve Fox - Owner of Deep Blue Resort, Utila.
Other diving locations submitted by
Reef Sharks and Rays of the World - Scott