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:
Trygonoptera testacea in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Jun 2023,

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.

Inhabits sandy areas in estuaries and around rocky reefs, from the intertidal zone to a depths of 135 m. The species is most common at depths above 60 m.


Feeds mostly on polychaete worms and small crustaceans.


Attains a maximum size of at least 52 cm total length (TL); males mature at ~35 cm TL; females mature at 40 cm TL; size at birth is ~12 cm TL; fecundity is low (1–2 pups/litter).


Regularly taken as bycatch o, estuarine,  inshore and continental shelf fisheries, along with other fishing gear. The species is usually discarded and post-release survival from trawling is low.


The specific name is from the Latin testaceus (= brick-like), in reference to the pale brick-like colour of the dorsal surface.

Species Citation

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


Atlas of Living Australia

Common Stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea Müller & Henle 1841


Campbell, M.J., McLennan, M.F., Courtney, A.J. & Simpfendorfer, C.A. 2018. Post-release survival of two elasmobranchs, the eastern shovelnose ray (Aptychotrema rostrata) and the common stingaree (Trygonoptera testacea), discarded from a prawn trawl fishery in southern Queensland, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 69: 551–561.

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., Courtney, A.J., Jacobsen, I.P. & Bennett, M.B. 2016. Reproductive parameters of rhinobatid and urolophid batoids taken as by-catch in the Queensland (Australia) east coast otter-trawl fishery. Journal of Fish Biology 89: 1208–1226.

Kyne, P.M. & Last, P.R. 2019. Trygonoptera testacea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T60085A68648424. Accessed on 01 October 2022.

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, 790 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. See ref at BHL

Steindachner, F. 1866. Über die Fische von Port Jackson in Australien. Anzeiger der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Wien 3(7): 50-55 (described as Trygonoptera australisTrygonoptera henlei, and Trygonoptera muelleri, type locality for all species - Port Jackson, New South Wales)

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.

Yearsley, G.K. & Last, P.R. 2016. A new genus of stingarees (Myliobatiformes: Urolophidae) with comments on other urolophid genera and an annotated checklist of species. pp. 35-40 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. Clayton South, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 790 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37038006

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:0-135 m

Max Size:47 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map