Names: Common Stingray, Golden
Stingray, Pastinaca Ray.
Rhomboid shaped disc with straight anterior margin and mildly convex posterior
margin. Snout pointed with small protrusion. Tail less than twice disc length.
Dorsal finfold short. Ventral finfold short and deep. Dorsum grey to golden
brown. Ventrum off white with grey/brown margin.
Size: Maximum disc width
and mud sometimes in estuaries and around rocky reefs.
Intertidal to 200m .
and distribution: Eastern Atlantic
(North Sea, Baltic to Mauritania). Also in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Rests on sand or under rocky ledges. Forages for crustaceans, gastropods,
molluscs, and small benthic fishes.
Ovoviviparous. litter from 4 to 7. Gestation around 4 months.
During a "ray feed" these rays
followed each other around closely on the sand. This may be
opportunistic feeding i.e. waiting for
the first ray to sniff out the food, or a mating display, or behaviour related
to some other function. See image below:
Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Canary Islands.
species: The Common Stingray
shares its range with a variety of other rays
including Dasyatis tortonesei which has a more pointed snout and a dorsal
keel instead of a finfold.
simpatric stingrays grow much larger: the Black or Round Stingray is darker and
has scattered spots and a more rounded disc, and the
Roughtail Stingray which has obvious
tubercles along its tail.
to divers: Moves
away upon close approach.
Usually skittish but has become tolerant of humans in feeding situations.
Los Gigantes on Tenerife is the place to encounter this species. Los Gigantes
Dive Centre runs feeds twice weekly that attract up to six species of rays.
Common Stingrays are the most abundant species in attendance. This feed is well
diving locations submitted by readers:
and further reading:
Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.
Sharks and Rays. Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M.