The Coral Sea stingaree (Urolophus piperatus) is a little-known species of stingray in the family Urolophidae, found at a depth of 171–310 m (561–1,017 ft) around the edge of the continental shelf off… can you guess it? If you said the Coral Sea off of Queensland, Australia — you are correct! And according to IUCN, there may be TWO species:
“It is possible that there may be two species provisionally identified as U. piperatus based on differences between size at maturity, however no consistent intraspecific differences were found between them based on morphometric or meristic data (Séret and Last 2003).”
Ooh, exciting! We’ll see what science says as time goes on. There are no verified pictures of this animal that we could find.
Growing to a length of 48 cm (19 in), this species has a diamond-shaped pectoral fin disc with a protruding snout and a skirt-shaped flap of skin between the nostrils. Its tail bears a low dorsal fin before the stinging spine and terminates in a short leaf-shaped caudal fin. Its upper surface is grayish or brownish, sometimes with tiny dark spots. The Coral Sea stingaree may represent two closely similar species, one large and one small. There is very little fishing activity within its range, and thus it has been listed under Least Concern (LC) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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