Yellow Shovelnose Stingaree, Trygonoptera galba Last & Yearsley 2008

Holotype of the Yellow Shovelnose Stingaree, Trygonoptera galba, NMV A 1793, 328 mm TL, from the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia. Source: Fig. 1A, in Last & Yearsley (2008) CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022: 269-274. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A uniformly deep yellow to slightly darker yellowish-brown stingaree (including the tail), with yellowish to whitish pelvic fins with broad dusky to blackish outer margins. The underside is pale yellowish to whitish with darker dusky to blackish corners and posterior margins, irregular dark blotches sometimes on the abdomen, and a uniformly pale mouth and cloaca. The species lacks a dorsal fin, and has one to two long venomous spines.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Trygonoptera galba in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Sep 2023,

Yellow Shovelnose Stingaree, Trygonoptera galba Last & Yearsley 2008

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos to Shark Bay, Western Australia. Inhabits soft sediment areas on the outer Continental Shelf.


Disc subcircular to suboval, width 58–65% TL; snout angle 114– 120°; distance from snout tip to posterior edge of spiracle 19–21% of TL; eye length 27–29% of preorbital snout length, 11.5–12.5% of ventral head length; inter-eye distance 2.5–2.9 times eye diameter; relatively long prenasal length 10.8–11.8% TL; main spiracular opening extending forward to mid-eye, its length 1.2–1.4 times eye length; length of first gill slit 2.9–3.3 times in mouth width; tail lacking lateral cutaneous folds; stinging spine(s) long, 12–14% TL when intact; dorsal fin absent; caudal fin deep, height 3.9–4.9% of TL, 0.9–1.1 in internasal width; pectoral radials 97–106; total vertebral centra about 183–201. 


In preservative: Dorsal surface almost uniformly rich yellow (sometimes slightly darker yellowish brown); not darker on midline of head and central disc and tail, not distinctly paler toward disc margin; no dark spots on body; orbital membranes yellowish, pupil blackish. Ventral surface of disc pale yellowish to whitish, with darker dusky to blackish apices and posterior margins (irregular dark blotches on abdomen in some paratypes); pelvic fins yellowish to white with broad dusky to blackish outer margins; mouth and cloaca uniformly pale. Tail similar to disc dorsally, greyish white ventrally; caudal fin yellowish-grey to dusky. Claspers yellowish brown dorsally, pale ventrally with dusky tips.


Males mature at ~33-36 cm TL; size at birth is ~16 cm TL.

Similar Species

Differs significantly from Trygonoptera mucosa in coloration and in the relative lengths of the spiracle and eye. T. galba is uniformly yellow (rather than greyish or blackish as in T. mucosa), and the main aperture of the spiracle extends anteriorly to about the mid-eye (rather than about level with the anterior third of eye in T. mucosa).


The specific name is from the Latin galbus (= yellow), in reference to the “distinctive” dorsal coloration of this species.

Species Citation

Trygonoptera galba Last & Yearsley 2008, CSIRO Mar. Atmos. Res. Paper 022: 269, figs 1-4. Type locality: Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia, 27°55'S, 113°13'E, depth 100-183 m.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Yellow Shovelnose Stingaree, Trygonoptera galba Last & Yearsley 2008


Kyne, P.M., Last, P.R. & Marshall, L.J. 2019. Trygonoptera galba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T60080A68647900. Accessed on 01 October 2022.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. (as Trygonoptera sp. A)

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. 2008. Trygonoptera galba sp. nov., a new stingaree (Myliobatoidei: Urolophidae) from southwestern Australia. pp. 269-274 in Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds). Descriptions of new Australian chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 022: 1-358

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.

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:37038013

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Venomous spine(s)

Depth:100-210 m

Max Size:38 cm TL


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