Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory



<I>Trygonoptera testacea</I>

Trygonoptera testacea


Regional Maps

External Links

CAAB: 37038000



Compiler and date details

17 January 2020 - Douglass F. Hoese, John R. Paxton & Jennifer E. Gates

20 May 2011 - Douglass F. Hoese, John R. Paxton & Jennifer E. Gates


Previously about 40 species are recognised worldwide in the Urolophidae (Last & Stevens 1994). Recently Urotrygon and Urobatis from the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic oceans were separated into a separate family Urotrygonidae. Consequently 28 species are now recognised in the family (Last & Stevens 2009, Last et al 2016). In Australia, 21 described species are known in the two genera Urolophus and Trygonoptera.

Stingarees are benthic rays that occur in estuaries and on the shelf and upper continental slope. Food items include worms and crustaceans. Urolophids have round, flattened discs and a well-developed caudal fin on a relatively short tail, thus differing from the similar stingrays of the family Dasyatidae. One or more venomous barbs are present on the tail. Maximum length attained is about 1 m.

The stingarees have not been revised since Bigelow & Schroeder (1953) summarised the family. Many authors consider the urolophids as a subfamily of dasyatids. Nelson (1994) recognised the genera Urolophus and Urobatis. Subsequently, Trygonoptera was recognised as distinct from Urolophus. Urobatis and Urotrygon from the western hemisphere were placed in a separate family, Urotrygonidae, by Last & Compagno (1999). McKay (1966) reviewed the 10 Australian species recognised at that time and Last & Gomon (1987) described several new Australian species. Tropical species from Australia are treated in Last & Stevens (1994, 2009), Last & Compagno (1999) and Séret & Last (2003) All species are treated by Last et al. (2016).

Urolophus aurantiacus Müller & Henle, 1841 was described from Victoria, Tasmania and Japan, but the name is currently in use for a species from the north-west Pacific and is not applied to any in the Australian fauna. Usage of the name in Australia appears to be a misidentification of Urolophus sufflavus Whitley.


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

Last, P.R., Yearsley, G. K. & White, W.T. 2016. Stingarees. Family Urolophidae. pp. 676-705 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. & Compagno, L.V.J. 1999. Family Urolophidae. pp. 1469-1476 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.

Last, P.R & Gomon, M.F. 1987. New Australian fishes. Part 15. New species of Trygonoptera and Urolophus (Urolophidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 63-72

McCulloch, A.R. 1916. Report on some fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South and South-Western Australia. Part 4. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 4(4): 169-199 figs 1-2 pls 49-58 [pl. L]

McKay, R.J. 1966. Studies on Western Australian sharks and rays of the families Scyliorhinidae, Urolophidae and Torpedinidae. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 49(3): 65-82 figs 1-6

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

Séret, B. & Last, P. 2003. Description of four new stingarees of the genus Urolophus (Batoidea: Urolophidae) from the Coral Sea, south-west Pacific. Cybium 27(4): 307-320


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)
05-Aug-2022 MYLIOBATIFORMES 14-Jan-2020 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese Dr Matthew Lockett
16-Apr-2012 04-Aug-2014 MODIFIED
15-Mar-2010 MODIFIED