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Diamond Stingray Dasyatis dipterura


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Diamond Stingray
credit: Rein Ketelaars /CCSA

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Family: Dasyatidae, Stingrays view all from this family

Description Rhomboid pectoral fin disc; long dorsal and ventral fin folds behind the spine. Adults develop a row of low tubercles along the midline of the back, flanked by two shorter rows on the "shoulders". Snout is blunt and non-projecting; eyes are sizeably large and immediately followed by the spiracles (paired respiratory openings). Mouth contains 21–37 upper tooth rows and 23–44 lower tooth rows; teeth are small and blunt, arranged into flattened surfaces. Three or five papillae are found in a row across the floor of the mouth.

Have a whip-like tail up to 1.5 times the length of the disc, and bears one ore more long, slender, serrated spines on the upper surface, closer to the base than the tip. Tail also becomes covered in prickles.

Dimensions 48" (120 cm) disk width.

Warning Rays in the genus Dasyatis have a long whiplike tail with a venomous spine. These rays are potentially dangerous to swimmers and waders as they can inflict wounds characterized by intense pain and slow recovery. To prevent an encounter with a ray, shuffle your feet as you walk through the water so you nudge the ray on the side or from underneath: it is likely to swim away.

Habitat Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Ocean or bay shallows.

Range California, Northwest, Western Canada.

Discussion The diamond stingray is most active at night, spending much of the day buried in sand with only its eyes protruding. When foraging for food, it may be solitary but more commonly forms groups numbering up to the hundreds. There is strong segregation by sex and age.