Thorntail stingray, Black stingray
disc, Adults have large thorns between the eyes and running down centrre line of
back along the tail. Long thin ventral finfold. Tail anterior to sting broad,
tapering to a whiplike tail posterior to sting when intact. Dorsum dark
green to black with no irregular markings.
disc width 200cm
bottoms often adjacent to
coral or rocky reefs. Also estuaries, lagoons, and rivers (in Australia).
and distribution: South Africa,
Australia, and New Zealand.
Hamelin Bay, Western Australia
Similar species: Shorttail
stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudatus)
shares a simpatric range but has a noticeably short tail and line of white spots
running down either side of dorsum.
Reaction to divers:
Normally moves away when approached at Hamelin Bay in W.A. it will allow
snorkellers and waders to pet it for food.
By far the best spot to see and photograph Thorntail rays is Hamylin Bay in
W.Australia. Here the presence of scraps in the water has resulted in these and
other ray species becoming desensitized to contact with humans. Waders and
snorkellers are able to feed the rays right from shore. No one appears to have
been hurt in this activity and the rays that come in to take advantage of the
snacks are extremely large giving a great show.
Other diving locations submitted by
Reef Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.
Sharks and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.