Hello again, #StingareeSunday! TFUI is proud to introduce readers to the Eastern shovelnose stingaree (Trygonoptera imitata), a currently undescribed species that is endemic to south-eastern Australia. Compared to the yellow shovelnose stingaree (T. galba), this is a rather plain-looking animal with grey-brown or yellow colouration on top and a pale underbelly. The dorsal side may sometimes be scattered with spots of varying shades of brown while the underside has a dark margin. They have a long fin on their tail (which is dark in colour) but no dorsal fin. #Finfact: the eastern shovelnose stingaree also has TWO venomous spines.
Eastern shovelnose stingarees are common to Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay, having a preference to the sandy and muddy bottoms in shallow bays, estuaries and inshore coastal waters. They are usually observed at depths of about 5-120 metres, and may occur in deeper waters in South Australia.
These stingarees are ovoviviparous, and litters range from one to five pups. Eastern shovelnose stingarees can get up to 80 cm total length (TL). The IUCN has assessed the eastern shovelnose stingaree as Near Threatened (NT) until studies can show that the population is stable.
Interested in learning more about stingarees? We featured a previous stingaree for #StingareeSunday in January! You can read all about the yellow shovelnose stingaree (Trygonoptera galba) here.
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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