Australian Whipray, Himantura australis Last, White & Naylor 2016

Other Names: Coachwhip Ray, Longtail Ray, Longtail Stingray, Long-tailed Ray, Reticulate Whipray, Reticulated Whipray

An Australian Whipray, Himantura australis, on the Gold Coast Seaway, Queensland, May 2016. Source: Ian Banks / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

Subadults and adults (exceeding 390 mm disc width) have a distinct pattern of reticulations, with the tail uniformly dark on the underside. Juveniles (smaller than 370 mm DW) are darkly spotted or have spots and weak reticulations, with three rows of spots on the top of the tail before the caudal barb, and faint dark saddles beyond the barb.

In Australia, the Australian Whipray was previously known as Himantura uarnak, a species that is widespread in the Indo-Pacific, but is not found in Australia. Himantura australis is only known from Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Himantura australis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Sep 2020,

Australian Whipray, Himantura australis Last, White & Naylor 2016

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Disc weakly rhomboidal; preorbital snout moderately short, length 19-22% DW and rather broad, angle 117-127°, with a distinct apical lobe; lateral apices narrowly rounded; orbits moderately large, usually strongly protruding (particularly in young); 1-2, mostly heart-shaped suprascapular denticles which are not preceded before and after by a row of smaller primary denticles; secondary denticle band developed before birth; 146-152 pectoral-fin radials; 123 vertebral centra (excluding synarcual), 24 including synarcual 124,


Dorsal surface of juveniles (smaller than 370 mm DW) are dark spotted or with spots and weak reticulations, subadults and adults (exceeding 390 mm DW) are more strongly reticulated; dorsal tail of juveniles has 3 rows of spots before caudal sting, faint dark saddles beyond sting (no alternating black and white bands on tail); tail uniformly dark ventrally.


Dianne J. Bray

Australian Whipray, Himantura australis Last, White & Naylor 2016


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. (as Himantura sp. 4) DOI: Abstract

O'Shea, O.R., Thums, M., van Keulen, M., Kempster, R.M. & Meekan, M.G. 2013. Dietary partitioning by five sympatric species of stingray (Dasyatidae) on coral reefs. ournal of  Fish Biology 82: 1805–1820. doi:10.1111/jfb.12104 (fig.3,5 as Himantura uarnakAbstract

Semeniuk, C.A.D. & L.M. Dill (2006). Anti-Predator Benefits of Mixed-Species Groups of Cowtail Stingrays (Pastinachus sephen) and Whiprays (Himantura uarnak) at Rest. Ethology 112: 33–43. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2006.01108.x (as Himantura uarnakAbstract

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37035003

Danger:Venomous barb on tail

Depth:To 45 m

Max Size:140 cm DW (disc width)

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