Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




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CAAB: 37035000



Compiler and date details

28 June 2018 - Douglass F. Hoese, John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates & Dianne J. Bray

11 October 2011 - John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Dianne J. Bray & Douglass F. Hoese


The family Dasyatidae is represented worldwide by 86 species in 19 described genera (Last et al. 2016). Last & Stevens (1994; 2009) and Last et al (2016) treated the 26 Australian species, in 12 genera. Several changes to the classification are indicated in Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto (2016),

The family is found in all oceans, with most species in the tropics and subtropics. Stingrays are typically benthic fishes found from estuaries to the mid-continental shelf, with a few species either in fresh water or bathypelagic. Food items include worms, molluscs and crustaceans. Dasyatids are typical rays with the tail longer than the breadth of the disc, armed with one or more venomous spines and lacking a caudal fin. The largest Australian species, Bathytoshia brevicaudata, attains a total length of 4.3 m and a disc width of 2 m; most species are much smaller.

The dasyatids have not been revised since the family was summarised by Fowler (1941) and Bigelow & Schroeder (1953). However, the freshwater species from South-East Asia were described by Compagno & Roberts (1982) and many tropical species, including three then undescribed species from Australia, are treated in Last & Compagno (1999). Nelson (1994) included the freshwater rays from South America as the subfamily Potamotrygoninae, but subsequently treated as a distinct family (Nelson et al. 2016). There has been considerable confusion about the identity of many of the Australian species.


Excluded Taxa

Other Excluded

DASYATIDAE: Dasyatis Rafinesque, 1810 [genus restricted to eastern Atlantic and southwestern Indian Ocean] — Last, P.R., Naylor, G.J.P. & Manjaji-Matsumoto, B.M. 2016. A revised classification of the family Dasyatidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) based on new morphological and molecular insights. Zootaxa 4139(3): 345-368 [351]


General References

Bigelow, H.B. & Schroeder, W.C. 1953. Sawfishes, guitarfishes, skates and rays. pp. 1-514, figs 1-117 in Parr, A.E. (ed.). Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir. Sears Foundation of Marine Research 1(2): 1-599

Compagno, L.J.V. & Roberts, T.R. 1982. Freshwater stingrays (Dasyatidae) of Southeast Asia and New Guinea, with description of a new species of Himantura and reports of unidentified species. Environmental Biology of Fishes 7(4): 321-339 figs 1-12

Fowler, H.W. 1941. Contributions to the biology of the Philippine Archipelago and adjacent regions. The fishes of the groups Elasmobranchii, Holocephali, Isospondyli and Ostariophysi obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross in 1907 to 1910, chiefly in the Philippine Islands and adjacent seas. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 100(13): 1-879 figs 1-30

Last, P.R., Manjaji-Matsumoto, B.M., Naylor, G.J.P. & White, W.T. 2016. Dasyatidae. pp. 522-618 in Last, P.R., White, W.T., Carvalho, M.R. de, Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & Naylor, G.J.P. (eds.). Rays of the World. Clayton South, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 790 pp.

Last, P.R., Naylor, G.J.P. & Manjaji-Matsumoto, B.M. 2016. A revised classification of the family Dasyatidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) based on new morphological and molecular insights. Zootaxa 4139(3): 345-368

Last, P.R. & Compagno, L.J.V. 1999. Family Dasyatidae. pp. 1479-1505 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.

Nelson, J.S., Grande, T.C. & Wilson, M.V.H. 2016. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons 5, 752 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
31-Jul-2018 DASYATIDAE 17-Oct-2019 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese Dr Matthew Lockett
16-Apr-2012 04-Aug-2014 MODIFIED
16-Mar-2010 MODIFIED