Circular Stingaree, Urolophus circularis McKay 1966

Other Names: Banded Sting-ray

A Circular Stingaree, Urolophus circularis, in Western Australia. Source: Clay Bryce / Western Australian Museum. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A bluish-grey stingaree with a pattern of paler spots and rings, and a circle of white-margined black spots on the middle of the back.
The Circular Stingaree has a venomous spine of the tail and inhabits rocky reefs, often sheltering amongst kelp.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Urolophus circularis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2024,

Circular Stingaree, Urolophus circularis McKay 1966

More Info


Endemic to south-western Western Australia, from Esperance to Rottnest Island. Found inshore and offshore, on rocky reefs and habitats with kelp in depths to 120 m.


Females give birth to live young. 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. 


Rarely encountered by commercial fishers.

Species Citation

Urolophus circularis McKay 1966, J. Roy. Soc. W. A. 49(3): 69, fig. 2. Type locality: near Seaward Reef, 3 miles west of Carnac Island, Fremantle area, Western Australia, depth 5 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Circular Stingaree, Urolophus circularis McKay 1966


Gomon, M.F., Yearsley, G.K. & Last, P.R. 2008. Family Urolophidae. 125-137 pp. in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

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

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.

Hyndes, G.A., Platell, M.E., Potter, I.C. and Lenanton, R.C.J. 1999. Does the composition of the demersal fish assemblages in temperate coastal waters change with depth and undergo consistent seasonal changes? Marine Biology 134: 335-352.

Kyne, P.M. & White, W.T. 2006. Urolophus circularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T60089A12240509. Downloaded on 16 November 2018.

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.

McKay, R.J. 1966. Studies on Western Australian sharks and rays of the families Scyliorhinidae, Urolophidae and Torpedinidae. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 49(3): 65-82 figs 1-6 Ref at BHL

Parish, S. 1974. Australia's Ocean of Life. Newport, Victoria : Wedneil Publications 128 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37038020

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Venomous spine on tail

Depth:to 120 m

Habitat:Reef associated, kelp areas

Max Size:60 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map