Stingray

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Dasyatis
Himantura
Pastinachus
Pteroplatytrygon
Taeniura
Urogymnus

The stingrays are a family—Dasyatidae—of rays, cartilaginous fishes related to sharks. They are common in coastal tropical and subtropical marine waters throughout the world, but the family also includes species found in warmer temperate oceans such as Dasyatis thetidis, and species entirely restricted to fresh water such as D. laosensis and Himantura chaophraya. With the exception of Pteroplatytrygon violacea, all dasyatids are demersal.[2]

They are named after the barbed stinger (actually a modified dermal denticle) on their tail, which is used exclusively in self-defense. The stinger may reach a length of approximately 35 cm, and its underside has two grooves with venom glands.[3] The stinger is covered with a thin layer of skin, the integumentary sheath, in which the venom is concentrated.[4] Some species have several stingers, and a few, notably Urogymnus asperrimus, lack a sting entirely.[5]

Other types of rays also referred to as stingrays are the river stingrays (family Potamotrygonidae), the round stingrays (families Urolophidae and Urotrygonidae), the sixgill stingray (family Hexatrygonidae), and the deepwater stingray (family Plesiobatidae). For clarity, the members of the family Dasyatidae are sometimes called whip-tail stingrays.[6]

While most dasyatids are relatively widespread and not currently threatened, there are several species (for example Taeniura meyeni, D. colarensis, D. garouaensis, and D. laosensis) where the conservation status is more problematic, leading to them being listed as vulnerable or endangered by IUCN. The status of several other species are poorly known, leading to them being listed as Data Deficient.[7]

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