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YELLOW STINGRAY

Urolophus jamaicensis

Family: Urotrygonidae

Description: a small oval shaped stingray. Classified in the family Urotrygonidae, commonly known as the ‘American round stingrays.’ Coloration is unique with a sandy-tan base layer, on top of this tan layer are multiple yellow circles, sometimes filled in with dark colors. 

Size: maximum size recorded is 70 cm total length (TL) and 36 cm disc width (DW).

Weight: not rigorously documented, although due to small size, estimates put the weight well below 20 grams. 

Sexual Maturity: Limited information but data suggests 20 cm TL required for sexual maturity. 

Reproduction: Aplacental viviparity bearing 2 to 5 pups. Little known about reproductive age, periodicity, and gestation time. 

Average life span: Data unknown

Distribution: Relatively limited distribution. Found in the Caribbean Sea to the Northern coast of South America. Range extends to North Carolina. 

Diet: Small invertebrates, crustaceans, and mollusks. 

Status: Least concern.

Human pressure: Certain commercial fisheries unintentionally target The Yellow Stingray but more research must be conducted to gauge the effect of this on the species. When directly targeted, the species is most often taken for the aquarium trade. The yellow stingray could be at further risk if more sea grass habitats are destroyed.