Smalleye Stingray, Megatrygon microps (Annandale 1908)

Smalleye Stingray, Megatrygon microps. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A very large stingray with the disc more than 1.4 times wider than long and covered in many large dermal denticles with star-shaped bases, especially on the snout. Disc brown to reddish-brown above, becoming slightly dusky at fin margins and darkening towards the tail tip, white below, with  large white spots beside the eyes, around the middle of the disc, a row on either side across the disc to the pectoral fin tips and a row of small white spots on either side of the tail base.

The Smalleye Stingray is semipelagic and has been filmed flapping it's very wide pectoral fins up and down like butterfly and manta rays. Video of a Smalleye Stingray filmed off the coast of Mozambique.

This species was previously known as  as Dasyatis microps.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Megatrygon microps in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024,

Smalleye Stingray, Megatrygon microps (Annandale 1908)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from the Northern Territory, and off Townsville, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread but uncommon in the Indo-west Pacific.

Inhabits estuaries, river mouths and coastal waters, and may also be semi-pelagic in deeper areas.


Rreproductive mode - aplacental viviparous with the developing embryos sustained by yolk and later histotroph ("uterine milk") secreted by the mother.


Taken as incidental bycatch in demersal longline, bottom trawl, trammel net, and seine net fisheries throughout its range.

Species Citation

Trygon microps Annandale, 1908, Rec. Indian Mus. 2(4): 393, pl. 27. Type locality: Bay of Bengal, off Chittagong coast.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Smalleye Stingray, Megatrygon microps (Annandale 1908)


Annandale, N. 1908. A new sting ray of the genus Trygon from the Bay of Bengal. Records of the Indian Museum 2(4): 393-394. (as Dasyatis microps) See ref at BHL

Boggio-Pasqua, A., Flam, A.L. & Marshall, A.D. 2019. Spotting the “small eyes”: using photo-ID methodology to study a wild population of smalleye stingrays (Megatrygon microps) in southern Mozambique. PeerJ 7: e7110, open access

Fahmi, White, W.T., Manjaji Matsumoto, B.M. & Pierce, S.J. 2016. Megatrygon microps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T161582A104166533. Downloaded on 30 July 2019.

Fowler, H.W. 1941. Contributions to the biology of the Philippine Archipelago and adjacent regions. The fishes of the groups Elasmobranchii, Holocephali, Isospondyli and Ostariophysi obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross in 1907 to 1910, chiefly in the Philippine Islands and adjacent seas. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 100(13): 1-879 figs 1-30 (as Dasyatis microps) See ref at BHL

Garman, S. 1913. The Plagiostomia (sharks, skates and rays). Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University 36: 1-528 pls 1-77 (as Dasyatis microps)

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

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 microps)

Last, P.R., Manjaji-Matsumoto, B.M., Naylor, G.J.P. & White, W.T. 2016. Dasyatidae. pp. 522-618 in Last, P.R., White, W.T., Carvalho, M.R. de, Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & Naylor, G.J.P. (eds.) Rays of the World. Clayton South, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 790 pp.

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.

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

Meekan, M.G., Trevitt, L., Simpfendorfer, C.A. & White, W. 2016. The piggybacking stingray. Coral Reefs 35(3): 1011.

Pierce, S.J., White, W.T. & Marshall, A.D. 2008. New record of the smalleye stingray, Dasyatis microps (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae), from the western Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 1734: 65–68. (as Dasyatis microps

White, W.T., Baje, L., Sabub, B., Appleyard, S.A., Pogonoski, J.J. & Mana, R.R. 2017. Sharks and Rays of Papua New Guinea. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Monograph Series 189: 1-327 Ref available online

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37035028

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Danger:Venomous spine

Depth:0-200 m

Habitat:Reef associated, estuaries, coastal waters

Max Size:220 cm DW; 320 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map