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Atlantic Stingray

Hypanus sabinus


  • Brownish to yellow-brown on back and white underneath
  • Snout pointed and projects forward
  • Disc (body shape) width nearly equal to length; pectoral fins broadly rounded
  • Row of spines along midline of the back to the origin of the tail spine
  • Sharp defensive spine near base of long whip-like tail
  • Dorsal and ventral fin folds present on tail which are light-brown or dusky in color

Similar Species

Southern stingray, H. americana; bluntnose stingray, H. say (both usually larger and lack pointed snout)


Wingspan (disc width) of up to 2 feet


Bottom-dwelling species that inhabits coastal waters, including estuaries and lagoons. Known to tolerate low salinities and inhabit freshwater rivers of Florida.


Non-aggressive species that scavenge the surf zone and tidal flats for food. Because they share this zone with humans, occasionally, a human will step on them and possibly get injured by their sharp, serrated spine attached near the base of the tail. The venomous spine is used for defense only and can be regrown if removed. Avoid handling and use caution while wading in shallow water (do the “stingray shuffle”).

Feeds on benthic invertebrates, polychaete worms, small crustaceans, shrimp, crabs, mollusks, and sometimes small fish.


Internal fertilization. The mother carries eggs inside her body until they hatch, after which, she gives live birth to the hatched pups (aplacental viviparity or ovoviviparity); one to four pups per litter.