Stingray, Bluntnose


Dasyatis say

Family

Dasyatidae

Order

Rajiformes

Class

Chondrichthyes

Range

In the western Atlantic, they range from New Jersey to Brazil

Habitat

As a benthic species, they prefer sandy or muddy bottoms in subtropical coastal waters.

Life Expectancy

Little is known about this species, but it is believed they may live up to 15-20 years.

Sexual Maturity

Males reach sexual maturity at 13.7" in disc width, females at about 20" in disc width.

Diet

In the wild, this species preys upon small bivalves, crustaceans, and fish. In the zoo, they are fed a diet consisting of squid, shrimp, and silverside fish.

Status

IUCN - Least Concern

Behaviors

Bluntnose stingrays are a benthic species, meaning they are bottom dwellers. They are moderately sized and typically light brown in color. This species possesses two highly developed folds on their whip-like tail, one dorsally and one ventrally. Their venomous spine, located on the tail, is used only in self-defense. It is made out of keratin, similar to our fingernails. Like all stingrays, the Bluntnose stingray is ovoviviparous, which means they give live birth. The embryos receive nourishment from yolk while in utero. Breeding season is from early April to June. Bluntnose stingrays have two to six pups per pregnancy, with a gestation period lasting nine to ten months. At birth, the pups have a disc width of approximately 6 inches. When full grown, they can reach up to 3 feet in width. Males reach sexual maturity at 13.7” in disc width, females at 20” wide. Their main predators are sharks and other large fish.

Adaptions

Like sharks and other stingrays, Bluntnose stingrays have a row of sensory cells called "Ampullae of Lorenzini" used to sense vibrations of prey and predators.

Special Interests

The Bluntnose stingray is often misidentified as a Southern stingray. However, the Bluntnose stingray has two highly developed folds on its tail. One on the dorsal surface and one on the ventral surface. Southern stingrays only have one highly developed fold along their tails, which is located on the ventral side. Stingrays, which are cartilaginous fish, do not possess a swim bladder to control buoyancy like bony fish do. Instead they have an oily liver to aid in buoyancy.

Folklore

Conservation

Jacksonville Zoo History

Our Bluntnose Stingrays came to the Jacksonville Zoo in 2011

Exhibit

Stingray Bay