Dasyatis marmorata

Dasyatis marmorata

Common name: Marbled Stingray
Order: Myliobatiformes
Family: Dasyatidae
Synonyms: Dasyatis chrysonota marmorata, Trygon pastinaca marmorata
Misidentifications: Dasyatis tortonesei, Dasyatis pastinaca, Dasyatis chrysonota

  • photo credit: E. Clua

Short description

Small stingray. Snout and disc angular. Tail less than twice body length. Disc without spines. One dart on the base of the tail.

Color: Golden-brown disc with spot/marbling blue. White ventral surface. Tail dark and without bands.


  • Disk width (DW): up to 44 cm
  • Total length (TL): up to 60 cm

Swimming pattern: Undulatory locomotion.

Biology / Ecology

Feeds on crabs, mantis shrimps, amphipods, worms and fishes.

Reproduction: Viviparous (aplacental viviparity). Size at maturity (TL): 32 cm female, 27-30 cm male. Gestation period: 3 months. Juveniles per litter: 4 per year.

Habitat: Demersal species in temperate water, inhabits coastal and shallow waters. Benthic on continental shelf on sandy and muddy bottoms, sometimes near rocky reefs. Found from 12 to 100 m deep. Found in deeper offshore areas during the winter season.

Previously wrongly identified in the Red Sea (mistaken for Taeniurops meyeni).

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Prominent elongated snout. 
  • Rhomboidal disc without spines.
  • Conspicuous bright blue blotches and branching lines on a golden background.

Myliobatiformes: No caudal and anal fin. Thin tail like a whip.

Dasyatidae: Batoids with depressed bodies.


Worldwide: Eastern Atlantic from Morocco to Mauritania.

Mediterranean: Recorded in south of Tunisia, along the coast of Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. Absent from Black Sea.

  • Occurrence: Rare.
  • Latest records: Cyprus (2018-2022), Maliakos Gulf – Grece (2019), Lebanon (2014), Iskenderun Bay – Turkey (2013), Gulf of Antalya – Turkey (2010), Southern Tunisia (2009), Israël (2004).

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Threats: Caught as bycatch by bottom trawl fisheries.

Protection level:

  • Europe: Data Deficient (IUCN 2015, last assessment: 2015)
  • Global: Near Threatened (IUCN 2021, last assessment: 2020)
  • Mediterranean: Data Deficient (IUCN 2016, last assessment: 2016)

Key references

  • Carpentieri P., Nastasi A., Sessa M., Srour A. 2021. Incidental catch of vulnerable species in Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries – A review. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean – Studies and Reviews 101: I-317.
  • Chatzispyrou A., Gubili C., Laiaki M., Mantopoulou-Palouka D., Kavadas S. 2020. First record of the marbled ray, Dasyatis marmorata (Elasmobranchii: Dasyatidae), from Greece (central Aegean Sea). Biodiversity data journal 8: e51100.
  • Erguden D., Turan C., Gurlek M., Uyan A., Reyhaniye A.N. (2014). First record of Marbled Stingray, Dasyatis marmotata (Elasmobranchii: Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae), on the coast of Turkey, north-eastern Mediterranean. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 44(2): 159-161.
  • Giovos I., Serena F., Katsada D., Anastasiadis A., Barash A., Charilaou C., Hall-Spencer J.M.,Crocetta F.,Kaminas A., Kletou D, Maximiadi M., Minasidis V., Moutopoulos D.K., Aga-Spyridopoulou R.N., Thasitis I., Kleitou P. 2021. Integrating literature, biodiversity databases, and citizen-science to reconstruct the checklist of Chondrichthyans in Cyprus (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). Fishes 6(3): 24.
  • Golani D. 2005. Checklist of the Mediterranean fishes of Israel. Zootaxa 947(1): 1-90.
  • O’Keefe M., Bengil EG., Palmer JL, Beton D, Çağlar Ç., Godley B.J, Özkan M., Snape R.T.E., Broderick A.C. 2023. Diversity and distribution of elasmobranchs in the coastal waters of Cyprus: using bycatch data to inform management and conservation. Front. Mar. Sci. 10: 1181437.
  • Özbek E.Ö., Çardak M. , Kebapçioğlu T. 2015. Spatio-temporal patterns of abundance, biomass and length-weight relationships of Dasyatis species (Pisces: Dasyatidae) in the Gulf of Antalya, Turkey (Levantine Sea). Journal of Black Sea / Mediterranean Environment 21: 169-190.