Common Stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea Müller & Henle 1841

Other Names: Stingaree, Stingray

A Common Stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea, at Hyams Beach, New South Wales. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


A dark brown to greyish stingaree with one or two strong, serrated venomous spines on the tail,  a very small dorsal fin just before the spines, and a leaf-shaped caudal fin.

Video of a Common Stingaree on the Gold Coast Seaway, Queensland.

A Common Stingaree at Bawley Point, New South Wales.

The Common Stingaree is the most common inshore ray where is occurs in eastern Australia. Records of this species from southern and western Australia are based on misidentifications of other species.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Trygonoptera testacea in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Jul 2022,

Common Stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea Müller & Henle 1841

More Info


Endemic to eastern Australia from Southern Queensland to eastern Victoria, although found more commonly north of Jervis Bay, New South Wales. Divers often see the Common Stingaree on shallow coastal reefs and estuaries.

Inhabits soft bottoms around rocky reefs and in estuaries from the intertidal zone to 135 m (more commonly to 60 m).


Carnivore - feeds mostly on polychaete worms and small crustaceans.


The biology of the Common Stingaree is not well known. Females give birth to relatively small litters.


Regularly taken as bycatch in inshore and estuarine prawn trawl fisheries in southern Queensland and New South Wales. Also taken in beach net fisheries and by recreational beach fishers. It is generally discarded.

Species Citation

Trygonoptera testacea Müller & Henle, 1841, Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen: 174, pl. 57. Type locality: Australia (as New Holland).


Bray, D.J. 2018

Common Stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea Müller & Henle 1841


Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Gray, C.A. & Kennelly, S.J. 2003. Catch characteristics of the commercial beach-seine fisheries in two Australian barrier estuaries. Fisheries Research 63: 405–422.

Gray, C.A., Kennelly, S.J. & Hodgson, K.E. 2003. Low levels of bycatch from estuarine prawn seining in New South Wales, Australia. Fisheries Research 64: 37–54.

Gray, C.A., McDonall, V.C.& Reid, D.D. 1990. By-catch from prawn trawling in the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales: species composition, distribution and abundance. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41(1): 13-26.

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

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1997. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers I-xvii, 434 pp.

Kyne, P.M. & Last, P.R. 2006. Trygonoptera testacea. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <>. Downloaded on 10 September 2013.

Last, P.R. & Compagno, L.V.J. 1999. Family Urolophidae. pp. 1469-1476 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

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.

Marshall, A.D., P.M. Kyne & M.B. Bennett 2008. Comparing the diet of two sympatric urolophid elasmobranchs (Trygonoptera testacea Müller & Henle and Urolophus kapalensis Yearsley & Last): evidence of ontogenetic shifts and possible resource partitioning. Journal of Fish Biology 72: 883-898.

Müller, J. & Henle, F.G.J. 1841. Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen. Berlin : Veit & Co. pp. 103-200 pls.

Whitley, G.P. 1940. The Fishes of Australia. Part 1. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney : Roy. Zool. Soc. N.S.W. 280 pp. 303 figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37038006

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:to 135 m

Habitat:Soft bottoms

Max Size:47 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map