Mumburarr Whipray, Urogymnus acanthobothrium Last, White & Kyne 2016

Holotype of Urogymnus acanthobothrium WAM P.34488-001, a juvenile male. Source: Peter Kyne. License: All rights reserved

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Urogymnus acanthobothrium in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Aug 2020,

Mumburarr Whipray, Urogymnus acanthobothrium Last, White & Kyne 2016

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Cambridge Gulf, north Western Australia, to east of the Wessel Islands, Northern Territory. The species occurs elsewhere in Papua New Guinea.
Inhabits brackish reaches of tidal rivers and estuaries, and marine waters. 


Distinguished by the following set of characters: disc elongate suboval, snout tip to axis of maximum width 53% DW; anterior disc margin not truncated, almost straight, lateral apices broadly rounded; preorbital snout broadly angular, angle 114°, with a very small apical lobe; preorbit long, length 26% TL, 2.1 times interorbital length; orbits small, protruded slightly; spiracle very large, 8.6% DW, 1.9 in orbit diameter; internasal distance 2.0 in prenasal length, 2.8 times nostril length; preoral snout length 2.6 times mouth width, 2.5 times internarial distance; caudal sting very large, length more than a 30% DW; mid-scapular denticles very small and inconspicuous; secondary denticles very small, rather widely spaced, band delimited but margin not sharply defined, band truncate forward of eye; minute upright tertiary denticles present, barely visible; low and short-based ventral tail fold present; dorsal disc colour variable, plain dark greyish brown to yellowish brown in juveniles, very finely and faintly mottled greyish white to yellowish brown in adults; ventral surface largely white, posterior disc without regular dark margins; tail beyond sting white in young, unknown but possibly paler than anterior tail in adults; propterygial radials 66, 3 times the number of mesopterygial radials; total vertebral segments (excluding synarcual) 151.

Similar Species

Differs from the Mangrove Whipray, Urogymnus granulatus, in having a low skin fold on the underside of the tail, a longer and more angular snout and a longer tail. In addition, the Mumburarr Whipray lacks white flecks on the upperside, and the underside is uniformly white (rather than white with a broad black margin in the Mangrove Whipray).


The common name, Mumburarr, was chosen by Traditional Owners within Kakadu National Park, recognising the importance of stingrays in traditional culture. Stingrays were hunted for food and the stings used as knives. Mumburarr is a local Limilngan language name for stingray, used by the Minitja people of the West Alligator River region.


Dianne J. Bray


Mumburarr Whipray, Urogymnus acanthobothrium Last, White & Kyne 2016


Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Kyne, P.M. 2016. Urogymnus acanthobothrium sp. nov., a new euryhaline whipray (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae) from Australia and Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa 4147(2): DOI:

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37035032

Danger:Venomous spine on tail

Depth:2-60 m

Habitat:Brackish & marine

Max Size:160 cm DW

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