Kapala Stingaree, Urolophus kapalensis Yearsley & Last 2006

Kapala Stingaree, Urolophus kapalensis, at The Pipeline, Port Stephens, New South Wales. Source: Richard Ling / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A uniform greenish-brown stingaree with a dark mask-like pattern around the eyes, dark blotches above the bases of the pelvic fins, a pale caudal fin with a dark margin, a small dorsal fin, and tail folds. Juveniles have a dark caudal fin.
Care must be taken when encountering this species as the venomous serrated spine on the tail can inflict an excruciatingly painful injury. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Urolophus kapalensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jan 2021,

Kapala Stingaree, Urolophus kapalensis Yearsley & Last 2006

More Info


Endemic to eastern Australia, from Moreton Bay, Queensland, to about Disaster Bay, southern New South Wales. Found on sandy and shelly bottoms, often near seagrass beds or around the edges of rocky reefs.


Stingarees are aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous), meaning that the embryos emerge from eggs within the uterus and undergo further development until they are born. After emerging from their egg cases, the embryos are initially sustained by their yolk, and later by histotroph, a "uterine milk" produced by the mother. 


Commonly taken as bycatch in the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery (ECTF) and in the New South Wales Ocean Prawn Trawl Fishery.

Similar Species

The similar Banded Stingaree, Urolophus cruciatus, differs in having a dark stripe along the midline that extends to the front of the eyes, while the dark stripe of the Kapala Stingaree extends only to behind the eyes.

Species Citation

Urolophus kapalensis Yearsley & Last, 2006, Zootaxa 1176: 42, figs 1-5.Type locality: Jervis Bay, NSW [35°02'S, 150°45'E]. 


Bray, D.J. 2018

Kapala Stingaree, Urolophus kapalensis Yearsley & Last 2006


Graham, K.J., Andrew, N.L. & Hodgson, K.E. 2001. Changes in the relative abundances of sharks and rays on Australian South East Fishery trawl grounds after twenty years of fishing. Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 549-561.

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)

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. (as Urolophus 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. & 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, 800 pp.

Kyne, P.M. & Bennett, M.B. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Urolophus kapalensis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 06 November 2013.

Yearsley, G.K. & Last, P.R. 2006. Urolophus kapalensis sp. nov., a new stingaree (Myliobatiformes: Urolophidae) off eastern Australia. Zootaxa 1176: 41-52

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37038018

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Danger:Venomous spine on tail

Depth:9-130 m

Habitat:Sandy, shelly bottoms

Max Size:52 cm TL


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