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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:

  • Ray/Shark Touch Pool (Georgia Explorer)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from Chesapeake Bay south to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Atlantic stingray prefers shallow marine and brackish habitats with sand, silt, mud or seagrass bottom. Commonly found at depths of 1 to 70 feet (1 to 21.3 m).
  • Will occasionally move into freshwater rivers and estuaries.

Physical Characteristics

  • Males can reach a maximum width of 12.8 inches (32.6 cm), females a maximum of 14.6 inches (37 cm).
  • Atlantic stingray exhibits counter-shading. The ventral side is very pale and the dorsal is brown to yellowish tan. 
  • A very round ray with a triangular snout. Like all rays, the gills are on the underside, and spiracles are present.

Diet / Feeding

  • Atlantic stingray typically feeds on benthic invertebrates such as bivalves, crustaceans, clams and worms.
  • Ampullae of Lorenzini are well-developed on the Atlantic stingray and are used to detect the weak electrical fields of prey in the sand. 

Reproduction / Growth

  • Florida populations have been observed to have an annual mating season, beginning in late fall and ending in early spring. During this time, males will develop more pointed tooth plates to aid in holding onto the female during mating.
  • Females give live birth to young, usually numbering 1 to 4.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Atlantic stingray has a stinging barb that grows from the base of the tail. This is not used in hunting, only in defense. Two grooves run lengthwise from the base and distribute venom along the barb. While this can cause a painful sting in humans, it is not considered dangerous.
  • Capable of burying itself in the sand to rest and hide from predators.
  • Inshore sharks are the main predators of the Atlantic stingray, but those that venture into freshwater areas may be taken by alligators.
  • This species is “euryhaline," meaning it can tolerate a wide range of salinity.

Sources

www.fishbase.org
www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish