Roughtail Stingray

Bathyoshia centroura

Roughtail Stingray 2018-02-18T02:25:18+00:00
CLASS Chondrichthyes
ORDER Rajiformes
FAMILY Dasyatidae
GENUS Bathyoshia
SPECIES centroura
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IDENTIFICATION

Color dark brown to olive brown dorsally and whitish ventrally. Disc broad but less angular than the southern stingray. The snout is moderately long and angular with an obtuse tip. Several rows of denticles/thorns on the tail (hence the name ‘roughtail’). Large venomous spine(s) near base of long whip like tail (1-4 spines, some 8-10” long in larger fish). Long ventral fin fold on tail but much lower than in southern stingray, dark brown to black in color. Dorsal fin fold on tail absent.

SIZE & AGE

Largest whiptail stingray species in the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico. Total length about 3.3 feet (1 m). Wingspan up to 7.25 feet (2.2 m). Weight up to 660 pounds (300 kg).

DISTRIBUTION & HABITAT

Found in three separate populations in the Northwest, Eastern and Southwest Atlantic, respectively. Dwells in muddy and sandy substrate. Typically, inhabits coastal waters including ocean beaches, and some bays, and estuaries of less than 100m but can be found at depths over 600 feet (about 200 m).

FEEDING

Benthic feeder. Feeds on bottom-living invertebrates and fishes.

REPRODUCTION

Aplacental viviparity (fertilized stingray eggs remain in the mother’s uterus, ingesting their yolk sacs. Once the embryos have fully consumed their yolk sacs, the embryos are nourished by ‘uterine milk’, secreted by the mother. Gestation is estimated to last 9 to 11 months. Four to six pups per litter.

HUMAN FACTORS

Non-aggressive species of little danger to humans with the exception of their defensive venomous barb located near the base of the tail. Avoid handling or exercise extreme caution.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The information contained in this document was gathered from various sources, including Florida Ray Identification Guide.