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Whiptail stingray

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Whiptail stingrays
Temporal range: Hauterivian–Recent[1]
Southern stingray (Dasyatis americana)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Batoidea
Order: Myliobatiformes
Suborder: Myliobatoidei
Superfamily: Dasyatoidea
Family: Dasyatidae
D. S. Jordan, 1888

The whiptail stingrays are a family, the Dasyatidae, of rays in the order Myliobatiformes. They are found worldwide in tropical to temperate marine waters, and a number of species have also penetrated into fresh water in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Members of this family have flattened pectoral fin discs that range from oval to diamond-like in shape. Their common name comes from their whip-like tails, which are much longer than the disc and lack dorsal and caudal fins. All whiptail stingrays, except the porcupine ray (Urogymnus asperrimus), have one or more venomous stings near the base of the tail, which is used in defense. In order to sting their victims, they jerk their tails as the stinger falls off and stays in the wound that they have created. The stinger of a whiptail stingray is pointy, sharp with jagged edges. They range in size from 0.18 to 2.0 m (0.59 to 6.56 ft) or more across in the case of the smalleye stingray and giant freshwater stingray.


The taxonomy of Dasyatidae was revised by Peter Last, Gavin Naylor, and Mabel Manjaji-Matsumoto in 2016, based on morphological and molecular phylogenetic data. The placement of Megatrygon within the family is provisional pending further research, as evidence suggests it may be more closely related to the families Potamotrygonidae and Urotrygonidae than to other dasyatids.[2]


Phylogenetic relationships of dasyatid genera, based on mitochondrial DNA (Makararaja not included; Megatrygon does not cluster within the family).[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Puckridge M, Last PR, White WT, Andreakis N (2012). "Phylogeography of the Indo-West Pacific maskrays (Dasyatidae, Neotrygon): a complex example of chondrichthyan radiation in the Cenozoic". Ecology and Evolution. 3 (2): 217–232. doi:10.1002/ece3.448. PMC 3586632. PMID 23467194.
  2. ^ a b Last, P.R.; Naylor, G.J. & 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. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4139.3.2. PMID 27470808.