Gran Canarian Stingrays

Gran Canarian Stingrays

The life of a stingray

The round fantail stingray or round stingray inhabits sandy, muddy, or rocky coastal habitats in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the southern Mediterranean Sea. This dark-coloured ray typically reaches a width of 1 m (3.3 ft), and can be identified by its nearly circular pectoral fin disk, short tail, and mostly bare skin. The round fantail stingray hunts for fishes and crustaceans on the sea floor.

The round fantail stingray is found in the tropical to subtropical waters of the eastern Atlantic from Mauritania to Angola, as well as off the Canary Islands, Madeira, and Cape Verde. This species has also recently colonised the southern Mediterranean Sea, where it is now occasionally sighted from Tunisia to Egypt, with isolated records from off Turkey and Tuscany, Italy.

The round fantail stingray has a nearly circular pectoral fin disk slightly wider than long. The tail measures no longer than the disk length and bears one or more stinging spines on the upper surface. The spines average 50 mm (2.0 in) long in males and 66 mm (2.6 in) in females, and have a central groove and 29–45 lateral serrations. Replacement spines grow in front of the primary spine. There is a deep fin fold running beneath the tail from the level of the spine almost to the tip. The skin is mostly smooth, save for small dermal denticles found along the middle of the back from the spiracles to the tail spine, as well as three thorns on the “shoulders”. The coloration is dark gray to brown to olive above, with various darker mottling, and off-white below. This species typically grows up to 1 m (3.3 ft) across and 1.5 m (4.9 ft) long, though it has been reported to a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft). It can weigh as much as 150 kg (330 lb).

Little is known of the natural history of the round fantail stingray. A predator of bottom-dwelling crustaceans and fishes, during the day this species can often be found partially buried in sediment, under ledges, or lying in the open spaces between reefs. Known parasites of the round fantail stingray include the monogeneans Dendromonocotyle taeniurae and Neoentobdella apiocolpos, which infest the skin, and Heterocotyle forcifera, H. mokhtarae, and H. striata, which infest the gills, and the tapeworm Rhinebothrium monodi, which infests the spiral valve intestine, It has been observed being attended to by the cleaner shrimp Hippolysmata grabhami. Like other stingrays, this species is aplacental viviparous.

All the best,

The Blue Water Diving team

More blog posts:

B.W.D. Diving Courses

Why take the Enriched Air Diver Course

During these tough times we are promoting our online theory courses. One course which is theory-based is the Padi Enriched Air Diver Speciality Course. This course is the most popular out of all the Speciality courses that offers.

Read more

B.W.D. News

Happy New Year

Blue Water Diving would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!‍ Thanks for all of our friends, family, new divers, old divers and soon to be divers for the support over the last year. Hope to see you all again soon for more diving in Gran Canaria!

Read more

B.W.D. News

Enquire about our internships today

Rubie has finally decided to join us and complete her PADI Divemaster Internship… She has taken the Go Pro path! Meet our new team member for the next month! Ruby has come all the way over from Essex to be with the Blue Water Diving team in Gran Canaria, to reach her goal as a PADI pro.

Read more
a { color: unset; text-decoration: red; }