Wide Stingaree, Urolophus expansus McCulloch 1916

Other Names: Broadbacked Stingaree

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Urolophus expansus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/3533

Wide Stingaree, Urolophus expansus McCulloch 1916

More Info


Endemic to southern and southwestern Australia from Port Lincoln, Great Australian Bight, South Australia, to off Perth, Western Australia. Occurs on the outer continental shelf and upper slope in depths of 140 to 420 m (mostly 200 to 300 m). 


Body extremely depressed; tail depressed anteriorly, moderately elongate (67-75% disc length), lateral skin folds present, often narrow. Disc broad, subcircular, wider than long, broadest part more than eye diameter behind level of spiracles, anterior edge forming obtuse angle;  snout fleshy, tip rather extended; eyes moderately large (28-32% of distance between snout tip and middle of lower jaw);  posterior margin of spiracles rounded; mouth small, seven or eight simple or irregular papillae on mouth floor; internasal flap skirt-shaped, posterior angle usually produced; nostrils moderately long (50-65% internasal distance), posterolateral border straight not nob-like and not forming a broad flattened lobe; five pairs of gill slits on underside of disc. 
Skin smooth. Dorsal and anal fin absent; caudal fin lanceolate.


Feeds on benthic invertebrates such as isopod crustaceans and polychaete worms.


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. 


Taken as a frequent by-catch by otter trawling in the Great Australian Bight Trawl Sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery. Caught less frequently in the Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery. 

Species Citation

Urolophus expansus McCulloch, 1916, Biol. Results F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 4(4): 178, fig. 2. Type locality: Great Australian Bight. 


Bray, D.J. 2018

Wide Stingaree, Urolophus expansus McCulloch 1916


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

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.

McCulloch, A.R. 1916. Report on some fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South and South-Western Australia. Part 4. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 4(4): 169-199 figs 1-2 pls 49-58

Treloar, M.A. 2006. Urolophus expansus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 06 April 2014.

, 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.

Waite, E.R. 1921. Illustrated catalogue of the fishes of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2(1): 1-208 293 figs pl. 1

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:37038008

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Venomous spine on tail

Depth:140–420 m

Habitat:Soft bottoms

Max Size:47 cm TL


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map