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Featured Elasmobranch – Chilean Round Stingray

Photo Credit: Clay Bryce

http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/sftep/taxon_mod_largepic.php?id=181

 

Chilean Round Stingray

 Urotrygon chilensis (Günther, 1871)

Family Urotrygonidae

 

Identification: Disc wider than long, with a long slender tail; tail length greater than disc length.  A single large spine located at the tail base that is venomous.  Eyes large and set closely together.  Coloration is grayish to tan with scattered dark spots or splotches dorsally; the underbelly, lined by a grayish tan color with a light yellow belly.

 

Size: Maximum length 41cm, although most individuals are 35cm or less in total length.

 

Distribution: Eastern Pacific Ocean ranging from the Gulf of California, Mexico to Chile.

 

Habitat: A demersal inhabitant of soft bottoms, such as sand and mud.  Typically occurs in coastal waters shallower than 60 m.  This stingray has been found in both marine and brackish waters.

 

Biology: Reproductive mode is viviparous, but little is know about its reproductive cycle or litter size. It feeds on benthic organisms such marine worms, crustaceans and mollusks.  It also feeds on small bony fish along with cephalopods such as octopus, squid and cuttlefish.

 

General Interest: A common, but relatively unknown species it is taken as bycatch in local fisheries. It is listed as data deficient due to lack of data. Also known as the Blotched Roundray and Thorny Roundray.

 

 

Matthew Jew

CSU Monterey Bay