Banded Stingaree, Urolophus cruciatus (Lacépède 1804)


Other Names: Crossback Stingaree, Cross-back Stingaree, Crossbacked Stingaree, Cross-backed Stingaree

A Banded Stingaree, Urolophus cruciatus. Source: Mark D. Norman / Museum Victoria. License: CC by Attribution

Summary:

A grey to yellowish-brown stingaree with distinctive pattern of dark bars, stripes and blotches, including a mask-like bar near the eyes. 

Banded Stingarees are usually inactive during the day, and often remain partially buried in sand. Care must be taken when encountering this species as the venomous serrated spine on the tail can inflict an excruciatingly painful injury. 


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Urolophus cruciatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2033

Banded Stingaree, Urolophus cruciatus (Lacépède 1804)

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to temperate waters of southeastern Australia, from off Jervis Bay, New South Wales, to about Robe, South Australia, throughout Bass Strait, and off Tasmania.

Banded Stingarees inhabit coastal waters, often on muddy or sandy bottoms, and rocky areas near the entrance to bays and estuaries, in depths to 210 m.

The Banded Stingaree is the most common stingaree in Tasmanian waters, where it occurs in very shallow estuarine waters - and may been seen in very large aggregations. In Victoria, Banded Stingarees are more common in depths below 100 m, and are rarely seen above 25 m.

Features

Disc smooth, almost circular to oval, slightly wider than long, with a widely triangular fleshy snout; tail short; caudal fin short; dorsal fin absent. Body flattened, disc-like with a short tapering tail, a single prominent serrated spine, a short caudal fin and no dorsal fin.

Size

To 50 cm.

Colour

Upper surface greyish to yellowish-brown with an intricate pattern of dark bars, stripes and blotches; a dark stripe along middle of disc from behind the eyes to the serrated spine on tail; mouth with many small teeth on the pale underside.

Feeding

Carnivore - forages for small invertebrates such as crustaceans and polychaete worms that live on or are buried in the bottom. Juveniles and small adults tend to feed on small crustaceans such as isopods, amphipods and shrimps, and gradually move to larger prey as they grow.

Biology

Stingarees are aplacental viviparous, meaning that the embryos emerge from eggs within the uterus and undergo further development until they are born. After emerging from their egg cases, the embryos are initially sustained by their yolk, and later by histotroph, a "uterine milk" produced by the mother. 

Females give birth to up to four pups every second year, following a gestation period of about 6 months. Birthing often occurs in large estuaries such as the Derwent River in Tasmania.

Fisheries

Common stingarees are taken as bycatch in otter trawls and gillnets in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF).

Conservation

  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Remarks

    The serrated spine is venomous and can inflict a very painful wound. Common stingarees must be handled with great care. People often get secondary infections from being stung, especially when the barb tip breaks off in the wound.

    Similar Species

    The Banded Stingaree, Urolophus cruciatus, differs from the similar Kapala Stinagree Urolophus kapalensis, in having the dark stripe along the midline extending to the front of the eyes, while the dark stripe of the Kapala Stingaree only extends to behind the eyes.

    Species Citation

    Raja cruciata Lacépède, 1804, Ann. Mus. Nat. d'Hist. Nat. 4: 210, pl. 55(2). Type locality: Australia (as New Holland).

    Author

    Bray, D.J. 2018

    Banded Stingaree, Urolophus cruciatus (Lacépède 1804)

    References


    Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

    Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds) 2008. Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

    Graham, K.J., Andrew, N.L. & Hodgson, K.E. 2001. Changes in the relative abundances of sharks and rays on Australian South East Fishery trawl grounds after twenty years of fishing. Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 549-561.

    Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

    IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at: http://www.iucnssg.org/.

    Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

    Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

    Last, P.R. 2002. Freshwater and estuarine elasmobranchs of Australia. In: S.L. Fowler, T.M. Reed and F.A. Dipper (eds). Elasmobranch Biodiversity, Conservation and Management: Proceedings of the International Seminar and Workshop, Sabah, Malaysia, July 1997. pp:185–193. IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

    Last, P.R. & Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Urolophidae. pp. 172-181 figs 150-159 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs

    Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls

    Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

    Last, P.R., Yearsley, G.K. & White, W.T. 2016. Family Urolophidae pp. 676-705. In: Last, P.R., White, W.T., de Carvalho, M.R., Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & & Naylor, G.J.P. (eds) Rays of the World. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, 800 pp.

    Shark Advisory Group & Lack, M. 2004. National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (Shark-plan). Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra.

    Stead, D.G. 1963. Sharks and Rays of Australian Seas. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 211 pp. 63 figs

    Treloar , M.A. 2006. Urolophus cruciatus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 07 August 2012.

    Treloar, M. & L. Laurenson. 2005. Preliminary observations on the reproduction, growth and diet of Urolophus cruciatus (Lacépéde) and Urolophus expansus, McCulloch (Urolophidae) in Southeastern Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 117(2): 341–347.

    Trinnie, F.I. 2003. Demographic biology of Urolophus paucimaculatus, Trygonoptera sp B, U. cruciatusU. expansus and U. bucculentus (Batiodea: Urolophidae) in South-Eastern Australia. B.Sc. (Honours) Thesis. Deakin University, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia.

    Ward, R.D. & Holmes, B.H. (2007). An analysis of nucleotide and amino acid variability in the barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase I (cox1) in fishes. Molecular Ecology Notes 7: 899–907.

    Waite, E.R. (1899). "Scientific results of the trawling expedition of H.M.C.S. 'Thetis'". Memoir, Australian Museum, Sydney 4: 3–128.

    Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37038002

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Danger:Venomous spine on tail

    Depth:To 210 m

    Habitat:Muddy & sandy bottoms, rocky areas

    Max Size:50 cm TL

    Native:Endemic

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