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Cowtail Stingray Pictures
Shark Pictures Database
Cowtail stingray, Feathertail stingray
disc. Posterior margins of disc mildly convex. Anterior margins almost straight.
Eyes small and widely spaced. Tail less than 2 times body length with broad, long ventral
tailfold. Tailfold 2-3 times as high as tail. Tailfold does not reach tip when
filament intact. Tail/tailfold beyond tailfold origin is black.
Max disc width 1.8m. Maximum length 3m.
Estuarine environments and Sandy
bottoms sometimes adjacent to
reefs from intertidal areas to approx. 60m. Also enters fresh water environments
and has been recorded 1000 miles up the Ganges River.
Widespread throughout the
Indo Pacific from South Africa and the
and south to
The cowtail stingray moves onto tidal flats in search of prey.
rivers. Feeds on bony fishes, snails, bivalves, and sea squirts.
Listed as Data
Deficient by the IUCN. The Cowtail Stingray (Pastinachus sephen) is reported
throughout a wide range from the western Indian Ocean to the western Pacific,
but may be a complex of species. It is captured in demersal tangle net, bottom
trawl, longline, Danish seine and beach seine fisheries in Southeast Asia and
parts of the Indian Ocean. Inshore fishing pressure is intense throughout large
areas of the species' range in Southeast Asia and in parts of the Indian Ocean.
It is caught in particularly high numbers in the target fishery for
rhynchobatids operating in the Arafura Sea. Although no species-specific data
are available, overall catches of stingrays are reported to be declining, with
fishermen having to travel further and further to sustain catch levels. Given
continuing high levels of exploitation throughout its range in Southeast Asia
and evidence for declines in catches of stingrays, it is regionally assessed as
Vulnerable there. Fisheries in northern Australia are generally well managed and
the introduction of Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) and other exclusion devices
will have greatly reduced bycatch of this species. The species is considered at
minimal threat throughout its wide range off northern Australia, where it is
assessed as Least Concern. Globally, investigation is vital to resolve the
taxonomic issues associated with this species complex and it is not possible to
assess it beyond Data Deficient at present. Further work is required to identify
the species involved and make full assessments of their status.
Exmouth Navy Pier, W.A.
Eastern Cowtail Stingray -
Pastinachus atrus, Narrowtail
stingray - Pastinachus gracilicaudus.
Reaction to divers:
curious. May buzz divers quite closely. Not prone to flight when approached.
logistics: Cowtail stingrays are
present over a large area accessible to divers but I am not aware of any area
where they can be reliably seen.
Citations and References:
Fahmi, White, W. & Manjaji,
B.M. 2009. Pastinachus sephen. The IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species 2009: e.T161332A5400078. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009-2.RLTS.T161332A5400078.en
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