order: Myliobatiformes 

Family: Dasyatidae (stingrays)

Species: 23

MERAUKE STINGRAY

Hemitrygon longicauda (Last & White, 2013)

IUCN Status

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 

Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 31 cm DW (106 cm TL)

Unknown, no adults recorded to date

~12 cm DW
Unknown
Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Tail extremely long and whip-like, more than 3 times disc width, with a long, low ventral skin fold

  • Disc almost circular to weakly rhombic

  • Eyes very small and spaced well apart

  • A median row of enlarged thorns on midline of disc and tail

  • Snout broadly triangular and relatively short

  • Tail base slightly depressed and oval in cross-section

AUSTRALIAN WHIPRAY

Himantura australis (Last, White & Naylor, 2016)

IUCN Status

IUCN NE logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
            
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

183 cm DW (350 cm TL)

Males at ~112 cm DW

~29–30 cm DW

2–4 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Tail long, whip-like and variably banded, without skin folds

  • Base of tail not depressed, circular in cross-section

  • Disc broad and weakly rhombic

  • Snout relatively short and broadly triangular

  • Denticle band on disc well developed in adults

  • Strong colour pattern of dark reticulations or small spots

LEOPARD WHIPRAY

Himantura leoparda (Manjaji-Matsumoto & Last, 2008)

IUCN Status

IUCN VU logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
            
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 140 cm DW (410 cm TL)

Males at 70–85 cm DW

~20 cm DW

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Tail long, whip-like and variably banded, without skin folds

  • Base of tail not depressed, circular in cross-section

  • Disc broad and weakly rhombic

  • Snout relatively short and broadly triangular, with pointed tip

  • Denticle band on disc well developed in adults

  • Strong colour pattern of leopard-like ocelli in adults (large blackish spots in juveniles)

BLACKSPOTTED WHIPRAY

Maculabatis astra (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Pogonoski, 2008)

IUCN Status

IUCN Least Concern

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:             

                                      
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

92 cm DW (180 cm TL)

Females at ~67 cm DW

Males at ~44 cm DW

15–21 cm DW

1–3 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Tail long, whip-like and banded, without skin folds

  • Base of tail not depressed, circular in cross-section

  • Disc broad and rhombic

  • Snout relatively short and triangular

  • Denticle band on disc well developed in adults

  • Greyish brown with variable number of small black spots

BROWN WHIPRAY

Maculabatis toshi (Whitley, 1939)

IUCN Status

IUCN Least Concern

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:               
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

~82 cm DW (~170 cm TL)

Males at ~50 cm DW

~14 cm DW

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Tail long, whip-like and banded, without skin folds

  • Base of tail not depressed, circular in cross-section

  • Disc broad and rhombic

  • Snout relatively short and broadly triangular

  • Denticle band on disc well developed in adults

  • Upper disc uniformly brown; adults sometimes with faint whitish spots and flecks

SMALLEYE STINGRAY

Megatrygon microps (Annandale, 1908)

IUCN Status

IUCN DD logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:               
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 222 cm DW (more than 300 cm TL)

Unknown

~33 cm DW

Single pup

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Disc very broad, its width >1.2 times disc length

  • Well-developed skin fold on ventral surface of tail

  • Tail base depressed and very broad, oval in cross-section

  • Tail tapering rapidly near sting and without bands

  • Eyes very small, 3 times smaller than spiracle

  • Covered in numerous minute denticles

PLAIN MASKRAY

Neotrygon annotata (Last, 1987)

IUCN Status

IUCN NT logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:    

          
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

30 cm DW (at least 45 cm TL)

Females at 26 cm DW

Males at 22 cm DW

12–14 cm DW

1–3 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Snout pointed, with black, mask-like bar through eyes

  • Tail not whip-like, with broad black and white bands

  • Tail base broad and depressed (oval in cross-section)

  • Skin folds present on dorsal and ventral surfaces of tail

  • Short thorns on midline of disc and tail

  • Upper disc plain, without spots or ocelli

AUSTRALIAN BLUESPOTTED MASKRAY

Neotrygon australiae (Last, White & Séret, 2016)

IUCN Status

IUCN NE logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

47 cm DW (at least 61 cm TL)

Males at 28–34 cm DW

~14 cm DW

Unknown; probably 1 or 2 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Snout broadly rounded, with a faint dark, mask-like bar through eyes

  • Tail not whip-like, with broad black and white bands

  • Tail base broad, depressed (oval in cross-section)

  • Skin folds present on dorsal and ventral surfaces of tail

  • Short thorns on midline of disc and tail

  • Upper disc with many large blue ocellate spots

SPECKLED MASKRAY

Neotrygon picta (Last & White, 2008)

IUCN Status

IUCN Least Concern

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:           
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

32 cm DW (at least 60 cm TL)

Both sexes at ~17–18 cm DW

~10 cm DW

1–3 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Snout broadly triangular, with a dark, mask-like bar through eyes

  • Tail not whip-like, variably banded black and white near tip

  • Tail base broad and depressed (oval in cross-section)

  • Skin folds present on dorsal and ventral surfaces of tail

  • Disc mostly smooth, with thorns only in a row on mid-disc and
    no thorns or denticles on tail

  • Upper disc with coarse pattern of dark reticulations and speckles

PAPUAN MASKRAY

Neotrygon cf. trigonoides

IUCN Status

IUCN NE logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:               
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 28 cm DW

Males at 26–28 cm DW

Unknown

Unknown; probably less than 3 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Snout broadly triangular, with a dark, mask-like bar through eyes

  • Tail not whip-like, with broad black and white bands

  • Tail base broad and depressed (oval in cross-section)

  • Skin folds present on dorsal and ventral surfaces of tail

  • Short thorns on midline of disc and tail

  • Upper disc with few smallish blue ocellate spots 

WEST PAPUAN MASKRAY

Neotrygon cf. westpapuensis

IUCN Status

IUCN NE logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:               
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 37 cm DW

A 37 cm DW male was mature

Unknown

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Snout broadly rounded, with a dark, mask-like bar through eyes

  • Tail not whip-like, with broad black and white bands

  • Tail base broad and depressed (oval in cross-section)

  • Skin folds present on dorsal and ventral surfaces of tail

  • Short thorns on midline of disc and tail

  • Upper disc with moderately large blue ocellate spots, but spots absent from central band (area from spiracles through to pectoral-fin insertions)

BROAD COWTAIL RAY

Pastinachus ater (Macleay, 1883)

IUCN Status

IUCN Least Concern

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size:   
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

~200 cm DW (more than 300 cm TL)

Males at 96–98 cm TL

18–28 cm DW

2 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Disc profile quadrangular, with a short, rounded snout

  • Ventral skin fold terminating well before tail tip, blackish and very deep (maximum depth >3.5 times height of tail above)

  • Tail relatively broad based

  • Sting situated well back on tail

  • No thorn row along middle of tail

PINK WHIPRAY

Pateobatis fai (Jordan & Seale, 1906)

IUCN Status

IUCN VU logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 170 cm DW (more than 308 cm TL)

Males at ~112 cm DW

~30 cm DW

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Disc profile quadrangular, with a short, broad snout

  • No skin folds on tail

  • No obvious band of denticles on central disc

  • Tail long, whip-like and uniformly dark beyond sting               (not banded)

  • Midline of tail before sting without enlarged thorny denticles

  • Dorsal surface uniformly yellowish or pinkish grey

HORTLE’S WHIPRAY

Pateobatis hortlei (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Kailola, 2006)

IUCN Status

IUCN VU logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

47 cm DW (at least 61 cm TL)

Males at 28–34 cm DW

~14 cm DW

Unknown; probably 1 or 2 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Snout broadly rounded, with a faint dark, mask-like bar through eyes

  • Tail not whip-like, with broad black and white bands

  • Tail base broad, depressed (oval in cross-section)

  • Skin folds present on dorsal and ventral surfaces of tail

  • Short thorns on midline of disc and tail

  • Upper disc with many large blue ocellate spots

JENKINS’ WHIPRAY

Pateobatis jenkinsii (Annandale, 1909)

IUCN Status

IUCN VU logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

~150 cm DW (more than 300 cm TL)

Males at ~70 cm DW

~23 cm DW

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Disc profile quadrangular, with a short, broad snout

  • No skin folds on tail

  • Band of denticles on central disc

  • Tail moderately long, whip-like and uniformly dark (not banded)

  • Midline of central disc and tail with a row of upright thorns

  • Dorsal surface uniformly yellowish brown

PELAGIC STINGRAY

Pteroplatytrygon violacea (Bonaparte, 1832)

IUCN Status

IUCN Least Concern

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 


Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

~80 cm DW (usually less than 60 cm DW)

Females at 39–50 cm DW

Males at 35–38 cm DW

~14–20 cm DW

2–9 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Anterior profile of disc strongly convex and obtuse

  • Outer edge of disc angular

  • Row of small thorns along midline of disc

  • Tail whip-like and broad-based (oval in cross-section)

  • Ventral skin fold on tail very low, terminating well before tail tip

  • Dorsal and ventral surfaces dark brownish to black (often with
    a purplish tinge)

OCEANIA FANTAIL RAY

Taeniura lessoni (Last, White & Naylor, 2016)

IUCN Status

IUCN DD logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 22 cm DW (~56 cm TL)

Males at ~21 cm DW (immature at 18.5 cm DW)

Unknown

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Profile of disc oval

  • Dorsal surface almost smooth to granular (denticles very small)

  • Ventral skin fold on tail relatively deep, extending to tail tip

  • 1 or 2 stings present, located beyond midlength of tail

  • Tail short, without blue stripes

  • Posterior tail and skin fold pale

  • Upper surface with numerous bright blue spots

BLUESPOTTED FANTAIL RAY

Taeniura lymma (Forsskål, 1775)

IUCN Status

IUCN NT logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

~35 cm DW (~75 cm TL)

Males at ~20 cm DW

13–14 cm DW

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Profile of disc oval

  • Dorsal surface almost smooth to granular (denticles very small)

  • Ventral skin fold on tail relatively deep, extending to tail tip

  • Stings present (usually 2), located beyond midlength of tail

  • Tail short, with blue stripe on each side before sting

  • Posterior tail and skin fold bluish

  • Upper surface with numerous bright blue spots

BLOTCHED FANTAIL RAY

Taeniurops meyeni (Müller & Henle, 1841)

IUCN Status

IUCN VU logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

~180 cm DW (~330 cm TL)

Males at 100–110 cm DW

30–35 cm DW

Up to 7 pups

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Profile of disc circular

  • Dorsal surface almost smooth (denticles very small)

  • Ventral skin fold on tail deep, extending to tail tip

  • Large sting present (usually 1)

  • Tail uniformly black posterior to sting

  • Upper surface grey with dark blotches and mottling (often faint)

MUMBURARR WHIPRAY

Urogymnus acanthobothrium (Last, White & Kyne, 2016)

IUCN Status

IUCN NE logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 
Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 161 cm DW

Males at ~110 cm DW

Largest embryo ~28 cm DW

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Profile of disc oval

  • Very small eyes in front of large spiracles

  • Denticle band well developed

  • No enlarged thorns on body

  • Tail long, whip-like and narrow-based

  • Upper disc brownish to yellowish grey, often with fine greyish
    speckles

PORCUPINE WHIPRAY

Urogymnus asperrimus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

IUCN Status

IUCN VU logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 


Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

147 cm DW

Females at ~100 cm DW

Males at ~90 cm DW

Unknown

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Profile of disc almost circular, very thick

  • Dorsal surface very rough, covered with long, sharp thorns

  • Base of tail narrow and rounded in cross-section

  • Tail short, without skin folds or stinging spines

  • Posterior half of tail blackish

  • Upper surface uniformly brownish, yellowish or greyish

FRESHWATER WHIPRAY

Urogymnus dalyensis (Last & Manjaji-Matsumoto, 2008)

IUCN Status

IUCN Least Concern

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 

Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 124 cm DW (more than 270 cm TL)

Males at ~90 cm DW

Unknown

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Disc profile almost circular with long, sharply pointed tip

  • No skin folds on tail

  • Tail long, whip-like, narrow-based and blackish (not banded)

  • Central disc with 2–4 heart-shaped thorns

  • Midline of tail before sting lacking enlarged thorns

  • White below, with very broad dark margin

MANGROVE WHIPRAY

Urogymnus granulatus (Macleay, 1883)

IUCN Status

IUCN VU logo.png

BIOLOGY

Maximum size:            
Maturity size: 

Birth size:                      
Litter size:   
                
Reproductive mode:     

At least 141 cm DW (more than 350 cm TL)

Males at 55–65 cm DW

~14 cm DW

Unknown

Viviparous, with histotrophy

KEY FEATURES

  • Disc almost circular in profile

  • Snout broadly triangular and short

  • No skin folds on tail

  • Tail moderately long, whip-like and whitish behind sting

  • Sting situated anteriorly on tail

  • Upper surface greyish with small white flecks (often with a layer of dark mucus when alive)

Sharks and rays of

papua new guinea

© 2019 Sharks and Rays of PNG 

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