Estuary Stingray, Hemitrygon fluviorum Ogilby 1908

Other Names: Brown Stingray, Estuary Stingaree, River Stingray

An Estuary Stingray, Hemitrygon fluviorum, at Cronulla, Sydney, New South Wales, March 2017. Source: Harry Rosenthal / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A yellowish to brown stingray found in Eastern Australia, with a rhomboidal shaped disc, a long tail and a distinctive row of spines or thorns running along the back to the tail base.

This species was previously known as Dasyatis fluviorum.

Video of an Estuary Stingray feeding in the shallows at Hare Bay, Jervis Bay, New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Hemitrygon fluviorum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Feb 2024,

Estuary Stingray, Hemitrygon fluviorum Ogilby 1908

More Info


Eastern Australia, from Repulse Bay, Queensland, to about Narooma or even Merimbula, New South Wales. The species also occurs in southern Papua New Guinea, and Irian Jaya, Indonesia.
Inhabits mangrove-lined rivers and estuaries where it occurs on seagrass beds and amongst mangrove roots. The Estuary Stingray also occurs offshore in depths to at least 28 m, but is more commonly in shallow inshore waters. It may also enter the lower freshwater parts of rivers.
Although once common in Northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, populations have declined due to habitat loss from the destruction of mangrove forests and tide flats during coastal development.


Carnivore - moves over mudflats on the incoming tide, feeding on benthic invertebrates such as crustaceans and molluscs. It is also a major predator of shellfish, including farmed oysters.
Individuals move over mudflats with the incoming tide to feed, and in Moreton Bay, southern Queensland, have been found to consume numerous soldier crabs


Adults reach a disc width (DW) of 120 cm, and the young are born at 11 cm DW.


Although not retained for sale, the species is taken as bycatch in inshore commercial fisheries, including in demersal prawn trawl fisheries in New South Wales and Queensland. The Estuary Stingray is also caught by recreational anglers.


IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Estuary Stingray was historically very common in bays and estuaries of New South Wales and southern Queensland. The species has declined in both abundance and distribution, and it has not been recently reported from the Sydney region. 

Threats to this species include being taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries, persecution by shellfish farmers, incidental catches by recreational fishers, and foreshore development resulting in the destruction of estuarine habitats.

Species Citation

Dasyatis fluviorum Ogilby, 1908, Proc. Roy. Soc. Qld 21: 6. Type locality: Brisbane River, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Estuary Stingray, Hemitrygon fluviorum Ogilby 1908


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

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. (as Dasyatis fluviorum)

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) (as Dasyatis fluviorum)

Kyne, P.M., Pollard, D.A. & Bennett, M.B. 2016. Hemitrygon fluviorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41797A104116059. Downloaded on 11 July 2018.

Last, P.R. & Compagno, L.J.V. 1999. Family Dasyatidae. pp. 1479-1505 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.
 (as Dasyatis fluviorum)

Last, P.R., Naylor, G.J.P. & Manjaji-Matsumoto, B.M. 2016. A revised classification of the family Dasyatidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) based on new morphological and molecular insights. Zootaxa 4139(3): 345–368. DOI: Abstract

Last, P.R., Manjaji-Matsumoto, B.M., Naylor, G.J.P. & White, W.T. (2016) Family Dasyatidae pp. 522-618. 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.

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

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

Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management. Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs.
 (as Dasyatis fluviorum)

Ogilby, J.D. 1908. On new genera and species of fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 21: 1-26

Pogonoski, J.J., Pollard, D.A. & Paxton, J.R. 2002. Conservation overview and action plan for Australian threatened and potentially threatened marine and estuarine fishes. Environment Australia, Canberra, Australia. (as Dasyatis fluviorum)

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

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15 (as Toshia fluviorum)

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. (as Toshia fluviorum)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37035008

Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable

Danger:Venomous spine

Depth:0-28 m

Habitat:Estuaries - mangroves, tidal flats

Max Size:130 cm DW (disc width)

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map