The short tail stingray, Dasyatis brevicaudata, also known as the smooth stingray, and is a species in the Dasyatidae family. Seen off southern Africa and southern Australia and New Zealand, they range from the intertidal zone to a depths of 480 m (1,570 ft). Mostly a bottom-dweller, they range from open water habitats to reefs or estuaries.
It is the largest stingray in the world, growing up to lengths of 2.1 m (6.9 ft) across and 350 kg (770 lb). Its diamond-shaped disc is gray coloured on the dorsal side and has little to no dermal denticles. It has a thick, short tail, with a midline row of large thorns in front of its spine. Protip: Use the stingray shuffle method to avoid getting stung!
Large aggregations can sometimes be seen seasonally-- for example, check out Poor Knight Islands off New Zealand this summer! Their diet includes invertebrates and bony fish, and they are ovoviviparous, providing sustenance through histotroph ("uterine milk") produced by momma ray.
Short tail stingrays are caught as bycatch by commercial and recreational fisheries, but are hardy enough that they usually survive when released. The IUCN has therefore assessed them as Least Concern (LC).
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