Jenkins' whipray, brown stingray, roughback stingray.
disc with rounded tips. Anterior margin almost straight.
Dorsum yellowish to brown to tan sometimes with richer mottling towards edges
and a distinct white margin. Tail whip-like with no finfolds tapering to a dark
grey or black. One to three barbs. Row of enlarged denticles running from behind
head along tail.
disc width 1.5m
Prefers coastal lagoons with sandy or silty substrates. Sometimes
found adjacent to rocky reefs.
and distribution: Indo Pacific region from Southern Africa to
In Australian waters from
Coral bay around the north coast to Cape Tribulation.
The IUCN lists the Jenkins whipray as 'Least Concern' globally but 'Vulnerable'
in some regions. Taken as a utilised bycatch of tangle/gillnet, trawlnet, and
dropline fisheries throughout Southeast Asia and parts of the Indian Ocean.
Inshore fishing pressure is intense throughout this species' range in these
areas. It is caught in particularly high numbers in the target fishery for
rhynchobatids operating in the Arafura Sea. Although no species-specific data
are available, overall catches of stingrays are reported to be declining, with
fishermen having to travel further and further to sustain catch levels. This
species is highly sought after in Southeast Asia for the high value of its skin.
Given continuing high levels of exploitation throughout its range in Southeast
Asia and evidence for declines in catches of stingrays, this sub-population is
assessed as Vulnerable. Little is known of the population off southeastern
Africa, although the species is probably taken as bycatch of shrimp trawlers
there. Fisheries in northern Australia are generally well managed and the
introduction of Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) and other exclusion devices will
have greatly reduced bycatch of this species. The species is considered at
minimal threat throughout its wide range off northern Australia, where it is
assessed as Least Concern because there is no information to suggest that this
sub-population has declined. Overall, the extent of global decline is not
considered sufficient to meet the threat criteria and the species is assessed as
Least Concern globally due to its wide range off northern Australia.
Citation: Manjaji, B.M., Fahmi & White, W.T. 2009. Himantura jenkinsii. The IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>
Exmouth Navy Pier, W.A.
Similar species: The Australian
book of Fishes lists a similar species living in the region. In the text of this
book the Jenkins' whipray is listed as having a distinctive white tail barb.
This suggests that the species photographed above may in fact have been
misidentified or its tail barb may be missing.
Reaction to divers: I
found this ray milling around under a school of baitfish. It was
fine with my presence until I approached within a few feet.
logistics: Often spotted at the pier in Exmouth, W.A.
and at other reef dives in the area.
Contact Exmouth Dive Centre for more information.