Dasyatidae, Urolophidae

Stingrays are usually put in a single family, Dasyatidae, but they are sometimes divided into two separate families–Dasyatidae and Urolophidae.

There are 4 genera in this family with about 35 species. Stingrays very much resemble a disk. With only a few exceptions, they don’t have dorsal and pelvic fins. They have flexible tapering tails that are very often armed with one or more saw-edged, envenomed spines.

Stingrays live in warm temperate and tropical zones and in some places they are in a great abundance. They feed on small fish, mollusks, worms and other bottom-dwelling animals, sometimes damaging valuable shellfish beds. Stingrays like warmer waters, so when it gets cold, they seek deeper places to go.

Stingrays are not aggressive by nature. They lay on the sea bottom quite peacefully and only sting people who step on them (and fishermen removing them from their nets). The sting causes profuse bleeding and excruciating pain that can last for months, accompanied by large swellings. Large stingrays have enough force to break a wooden boat by lashing their tails. If a person is unlucky enough to be stabbed in the chest or abdomen, there may be another fatality reported.

An injury could be prevented if one shuffles their feet in the water they are going to enter. This will startle the stingrays and they will flee, for they have the chance to do so. Experienced swimmers always do this.