Southern Stingray


Scientific name

Hypanus americanus




1.5 m (5 feet)


17 years in the wilde and 26 years in captivity.

Did you know?

Southern stingrays give live birth to 2–7 pups each year after maturity, which is reached at around 5 years of age.

About Southern Stingrays

A diamond-shaped bottom-dwelling ray species, the southern stingray is common in shallow temperate and tropical coastal waters in the Atlantic Ocean. The southern stingray burrows in sand and seagrass to dig up prey items, in turn stirring up sediments and other small animals. This ‘bioturbation’ not only frees up prey items for other species – feeding southern stingrays are often accompanied by small fish such as bar jacks – but also create microhabitats for small invertebrates, and oxygenate the seabed sediments. Because of their important, but often overlooked roles, benthic rays such as southern stingrays are often referred to as ‘ecosystem engineers.’  


Southern stingrays are continuous foragers, feeding in sediments on a variety of benthic species including small fishes, worms, crustaceans (shrimp and crabs) and bivalves (clams).


Northwest and Western Central Atlantic Oceans from New Jersey, USA to Amapá, Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

Fun facts

  • Southern stingrays are favorites at several ecotourism snorkeling sites in the Caribbean, including Stingray City in the Cayman Islands, and at Shark Ray Alley in Belize.

Southern Stingray photo gallery

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