YELLOW STINGRAY

Urobatis jamaicensis
Family: Urotrygonidae

Description: Reticulated dark green/ brownish spots against a pale background or lighter spots against a dark background. Round disc with no angular edges or dorsal fin. Venomous spine located before the well-developed caudal fin at the tip of its relatively thick tail.

Distribution and habitat: Found as far north in the western Atlantic as North Carolina (USA) and as far south as Guyana in South America including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea. Found on continental and insular shelves in shallow water. Commonly found on habitats such as near coral reefs, sand or muddy flats, and seagrass beds. Depth range of 1-70 meters.

Size: Maximum size is 76 cm total length. Size at birth unknown.

Reproduction: Viviparous with biennial reproductive cycle. Litter size of 1-5 pups. Both males and females are believed to reach sexual maturity at 20 cm total length.

Diet: Polychaete worms, benthic crustaceans such as crabs, molluscs and some bony fish.

Life span: Maximum age estimated at 14 years.

Status: Least Concern as of Jun 2019.

Human pressures: Threatened by habitat loss such as coral reef and seagrass bed degradation and other climate change related issues.

YELLOW STINGRAY