Stingrays: Smooth Butterfly Ray

Gymnura micrura


smooth butterfly ray
Image credit: TPWD

Disc broad, much wider than long ('butterfly shaped'). Coloration brownish, gray or green with many small dark spots/blotches dorsally and white ventrally. Snout protruding. Tail short with low dorsal and ventral fin folds and three to four dark crossbars. No venomous spine on tail.

Habitat and Behavior
Demersal species found in coastal waters and usually found on soft mud or sandy substrates. May enter estuaries or bays.

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

Aplacental viviparity. Three to four pups per litter.

Wingspan up to 4.5 feet.

Human Factors
Non-aggressive species of no danger to humans.

FWC Facts:
The organism that causes red tide in Florida, Karenia brevis, owes its name to a state researcher of harmful algal blooms, Dr. Karen Steidinger.

Learn More at AskFWC