Round Stingray (California)

From 26th Trip: Twilight on the Native Sun

Family: Dasyatididae (Stingrays)

Genus and Species: Urolophus halleri

Description: The disk of the round stingray is nearly circular. The back of this species is brown, often mottled or spotted, and the underside is white to orange. The round stingray is one of six rays found in California waters which have a stinger on the tail. It can be distinguished from the others since it is the only one with a true tail fin. The others have either a whip-like tail or very short tail with no fin membrane.

Range: This species occurs from Panama to Humboldt Bay, California, including the Gulf of California. Round stingrays are most abundant off southern California and northern Baja California at depths up to 70 feet.

Natural History: Round stingrays obtain much of their food by burrowing in the substrate. Their diet includes worms, crabs, snails, clams and small fishes. It takes 3 months for the round stingray young to develop and they are approximately 3 inches wide at birth. Sexual maturity is reached in 2.6 to 3 years, and mating occurs from May to June and in December. There are one to six pups, depending upon the size of the female.

Fishing Information: Most round stingrays are taken incidentally by anglers fishing for other species. However, should one wish to go after them specifically, marine worms or pieces of clam are good bait. Sandy or muddy bottoms along a beach or in a bay should provide good fishing. Round stingrays are potentially dangerous because of the wounds they can inflict. If an angler is stung, the wound should be cleaned thoroughly and bathed in water. One should see a doctor if pain persists or infection occurs.

Other Common Names: ray, stingray, stinger, stingaree.

Largest Recorded: 22 inches; no weight recorded; however, a male 20 inches long weighed 1.5 pounds.

Habitat: Shallow Sandy Environment

About the Author

Sean loves to fish in Southern California and this site is his journal of his adventures in fishing. He started fishing when he was a little guy with his dad David, and has continued to this day with his family. In his day job, Sean has been a graphic designer for over 15 years, designing everything from in-store displays and signage for supermarkets to e-commerce auction sites for an online consumer electronics company. He was a web and graphic designer then later an art director for McMullen Argus Publishing (Primedia), building and working on sites for Lowrider Magazine and Super Chevy, plus 30 other automotive magazine sites. Sean seized the opportunity to teach other aspiring designers - a passion that took him first to Learning Tree University and then to Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA, where he has been an integral part of the renowned digital arts department for more than ten years. Throughout his teaching career, Sean maintained a freelance business, designing for clients including the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards), Image Comics and many more. See his work at http://www.glumace.com.