Giant Stingaree, Plesiobatis daviesi (Wallace 1967)

Other Names: Deepwater Stingray

A Giant Stingaree, Plesiobatis daviesi. Source: Ken Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A large greyish-black to brownish or purplish-brown stingray with a black margin on the disc, a white underside, rear edges of the pelvic fins and tail grey, and a pale sting. This is the largest stingray and it occurs in deeper waters than any other species.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Plesiobatis daviesi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Giant Stingaree, Plesiobatis daviesi (Wallace 1967)

More Info


Off Shark Bay to Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, and from off Townsville, Queensland, to off Wooli, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species has a sporadic and patchy distribution in the Indo-west-central Pacific. It is demersal on the continental slope at depths of 275–680 m.


A giant plain stingray with a broadly pointed snout, small eyes and a round disc; tail short with a long caudal fin and a narrow sting; upper surface covered with denticles.


Feeds on small pelagic fishes, eels, crabs, shrimp, lobsters, cephalopods and polychaete worms. 


The species is named daviesi in honour of David H. Davies, a former director of the Ocean Research Institute, Durban, South Africa. 

Species Citation

Urotrygon daviesi Wallace 1967, Investigational Report. Oceanographical Research Institute, Durban 16: 8, figs 3-4. Type locality: Mozambique Channel, off mouth of Limpopo River, South Africa. 


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Giant Stingaree, Plesiobatis daviesi (Wallace 1967)


Compagno, L.J.V. & Last, P.R. 1999. Family Plesiobatidae. pp. 1467-1468 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. 

Ebert, D.A., Cowley, P.D. and Compagno, L.J.V. 2002. First records of the longnose spiny dogfish Squalus blainvillei (Squalidae) and the deep-water stingray Plesiobatis daviesi(Urolophidae) from South African waters. South African Journal of Marine Science 24: 355-367.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 
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. 

Nishida, K. 1990. Phylogeny of the suborder Myliobatidoidei. Memoirs of the Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University 37(1-2): 1-108.

Séret, B. & Last, P.R. 2016. 28. Giant Stingarees. Family Plesiobatidae, pp. 674-675. 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.

Wallace, J.H. 1967. The batoid fishes of the east coast of southern Africa. Part 2: manta, eagle, duckbill, cownose, butterfly and sting rays. Investigational Report. Oceanographical Research Institute, Durban 16: 1-56.

White, W.T., Kyne, P.M. & Holtzhausen, H. 2015. Plesiobatis daviesi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T60111A68640813. Downloaded on 10 July 2017.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37038023

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Venomous spine on tail

Depth:275–680 m

Habitat:Muddy, silty areas

Max Size:270 cmTL; 150 cmDW

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map