Hortle's Whipray, Pateobatis hortlei (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Kailola 2006)

A uniformly yellowish, brownish, or greyish whipray with a white to canary yellow underside, and blackish pigment around the oronasal region and gill slits. Large individuals are yellowish above and below, while juveniles are brownish above.The species has a oval to rounded disc, a very long narrow snout, small eyes, and a narrow-based tail that is circular in cross-section. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Pateobatis hortlei in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Apr 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/5512

Hortle's Whipray, Pateobatis hortlei (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Kailola 2006)

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Kimberley Region, Western Australia to the Northern Territory. Elsewhere the species occurs in Papua New Guinea and West Papua, Indonesia.
Commonly inhabits shallow intertidal mud and sand flats, usually near river mouths and estuaries.


Disc subcircular, very angular anteriorly, length 1.1 times DW; pectoral-fin apices broadly rounded; snout extremely elongate, 11-18 times orbit diameter, 96-99° angle; snout to maximum disc width 52-58% of DW; orbit very small, diameter 0.4-0.5 of spiracle length, 3.8-6.3 times in interorbital distance; mouth not greatly protrusible; prepelvic process not expanded; 1-3 enlarged, flattened, pearl-shaped mid-scapular denticles; denticles of main band in two main sizes in adults, crowns plate-like to heart-shaped; pectoral fin radials 135-143; pelvic-fin radials 22-28; total vertebral centra 99-108


Feeds on crustaceans, molluscs and small fishes. 


Viviparous (egg layer), with histotrophy. Females mature at ~100 cm DW; pups are born at 16-20 cm DW.


Caught regularly, but usually avoided, by beach seine fisheries operating in intertidal habitats in New Guinea. Utilized for its meat, and possibly also for its skin and cartilage.

Similar Species

This species differs from other plain-coloured stingrays in having a very long snout and small eyes (vs. the snout much shorter and eyes larger).


The species is named in honour of Kent Hortle, who supplied the first photographs of the species and later collected fresh specimens for the type series from southern Irian Jaya.

Species Citation

Himantura hortlei Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Kailola 2006, Zootaxa 1239: 22, figs. 1-7. Type locality: Minajerwi River estuary, Irian Jaya, 4°56'S, 137°03'E, depth 7 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Hortle's Whipray, Pateobatis hortlei (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Kailola 2006)


Last, P.R., Manjaji-Matsumoto, B.M. & Kailola, P.J. 2006. Himantura hortlei n. sp., a new species of whipray (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae) from Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Zootaxa 1239: 19-34 https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.1239.1.2

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., 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., White, W.T. & Naylor, G. 2016. Three new stingrays (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae) from the Indo-West Pacific. Zootaxa 4147(4): 377–402

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 (ACIAR) Monograph Series 189: 1-327 See ref online

White, W.T., Last, P.R., Stevens, J.D.,  Yearsley, G.K., Fahmi & Dharmadi. 2006. Economically important sharks and rays Indonesia. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Monograph Series 124: 1-329 See ref online

White, W.T., Manjaji Matsumoto, B.M. & Fahmi 2016. Pateobatis hortlei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T161598A104225574. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T161598A104225574.en. Downloaded on 18 September 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37035033

Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable

Depth:2-7 m

Habitat:Estuaries, mud flats

Max Size:112 cm DW; >240 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map