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Round Stingray Urolophus halleri


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Round Stingray

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Family: Urolophidae, Round Stingrays view all from this family

Description The round stingray or Haller's round ray, Urobatis halleri, is a species of round ray, family Urolophidae, found in the coastal waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is a small, common ray that feeds mostly on benthic invertebrates. On the beaches of southern California, it is responsible for numerous injuries to bathers, who are stung when they accidentally step on the fish. The wound caused by its venomous spine can be painful, but is non-fatal.

The round stingray has a nearly round pectoral fin disc usually colored brown or grayish brown above, with pale yellow spots or reticulations. Some individuals are plain or black. The underside is white to yellowish. The tail is short and stout, with a long, thick, serrated stinging spine. The teeth are small and diamond-shaped, and sexually dimorphic in that the central teeth of males are erect, sharply pointed, and curved inward. They attain a maximum pectoral fin disc width of 25 cm in males and 31 cm in females.

The tail spine is periodically shed and replaced; for most of the year round stingrays have only one spine, but at the beginning of July small secondary spines begin to appear. The number of rays with secondary spines increases to a peak around September and October, then declines as the primary spines fall off and are replaced. The replacement process is complete by December.

Dimensions Up to 22" (56 cm) long.

Warning Concentrations of these stingrays occasionally make some beaches in California unsafe for swimmers, as their venomous tail spines can cause painful wounds.

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

Range California.