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Southern Stingray

Hypanus americanus


  • Color is brownish on back (grayer in juveniles) and white underneath
  • Disk (body shape) broadly angular (rhomboid) with pointed corners
  • Snout moderately pointed, does not project forward
  • Sharp defensive spine near base of long whip-like tail
  • Well-developed ventral fin fold on tail, usually brown to black in color
  • Dorsal fin-fold absent on tail

Similar Species

Atlantic stingray, H. sabina (snout sharply pointed); bluntnose stingray, H. say (dorsal fin-fold present on tail)


Wingspan of 4-5 feet and weighs up to around 200 pounds


Bottom-dwelling, coastal species common in oceanic beaches, bays, estuaries, and river mouths. Generally found near shore on grass and sand/mud flats but does venture into deeper coastal waters up to ~200 feet.


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

This species has been observed singly, in pairs, and in aggregations. Feeds mainly on invertebrates and 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); up to seven pups per litter.