National Aquarium - Roughtail Stingray

Roughtail Stingray

Dasyatis centroura


This stingray’s tail can grow up to 2 ½ times as long as its body.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Shark Alley: Atlantic Predators

Add to Trip Planner

National Aquarium - Roughtail Stingray National Aquarium - Roughtail Stingray National Aquarium - Roughtail Stingray National Aquarium - Roughtail Stingray National Aquarium - Roughtail Stingray

Roughtail Stingray

Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of this stingray is its long, whip-like tail, which may be 2.5 times as long as the body.

The many thorny plates, or tubercles, on the outer parts of the body, or disc, and along the base of the tail give this species its common name, roughtail. Like other stingrays, the roughtail has one or two sharp, serrated spines, which are equipped with venom glands and covered with an integumentary sheath—a thin layer of skin.

Normally gentle, when attacked by would-be predators or stepped on by unwary humans, the animal lashes its tail. The spine and its barbs pierce the integumentary sheath as they lacerate the skin of the victim, allowing venom to enter the wound.

Roughtail Stingray Facts


The roughtail ray searches over sandy and muddy substrates, often burrowing into the sediment, to feed on bottom-dwelling, or benthic, invertebrates and fishes.


In the wild, this species has been reported to reach 7 feet across and weigh almost 450 pounds.


The roughtail ray is found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: in the eastern Atlantic from southern France to Angola, including the Mediterranean Sea, and in the western Atlantic from Maine to the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and southward to Uruguay.

Population Status

The roughtail ray is not a threatened species.


Roughtail rays have few predators and are of only minor importance to commercial fisheries. The ray is marketed fresh, smoked, and dried, and is used for fishmeal and oil.

Back to the Top

Jack Cover
General Curator

pressroom striped fish

As the general curator, Jack's role is to ensure that our living animal collections are thriving and diverse, to best exhibit the beauty of the wild habitats we represent here at the Aquarium. Learn More

A Note From the Caretaker

Our specimens, although not full-sized at a mere 150 pounds, are still an impressive sight!


Make a Donation

National Aquarium – Wings in the Water

Your gift will help the National Aquarium, a nonprofit organization, inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.

Donate Now

Receive our Newsletter

You'll find:

  • animal updates
  • latest news
  • special offers