Taeniurops grabatus

Taeniurops grabatus

Common name : Round Stingray, Round Fantail Stingray
Order: Myliobatiformes
Family: Dasyatidae
Synonyms: Taeniurops grabata, Trygon grabatus
Misidentifications: Taeniurops meyeni

  • photo credit: Slebris

Short description

Large stingray. Strongly depressed body. Tail well demarcated from disc. Disc near circular, short tail with a membranous fold on the lower part up to the end of the tail. Obtuse snout. Dorsal surface with some denticles on the middle row until the tail spine.

Color: Grey brown or olive dorsal surface. Yellowish-white ventral surface.


  • Disk width (DW): 80-100 cm (max 112 cm)
  • Total length (TL): 150 cm (max 250 cm)
  • Weight: up to 84 kg

Swimming pattern: Undulatory locomotion.

video credit: Nature and Wildlife

Biology / Ecology

Feeds on bottom-living fishes and crustaceans.

Reproduction: Viviparous (aplacental viviparity with histotrophy).

Habitat: Neritic coastal species, in tropical and temperate water, on bedrock and sandy bottom. Benthic on soft bottoms from shallow water to 100 m (max 450 m deep).

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

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Disc near circular
  • Denticle along the middle row
  • Membranous fold on and under the extremity of the short tail

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

Dasyatidae: Batoids with depressed bodies.


Worldwide: Atlantic, from Bay of Biscay to Angola. Absent in Black and Red Seas.

Mediterranean: Quite uncommon; mostly recorded from the Gulf of Gabes and Levantine waters along the North African coast.

  • Occurrence: Frequent in Tunisia and Syria. Occasional/Rare in other areas.
  • Latest records: Cyprus (2019), Tunisia (2017), Syria (2012), Iskenderun bay – Turkey (1998), Tuscany – Italia (1997).

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Threats: Sometimes taken as incidental catches in artisanal fisheries.

Protection level:

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

Key references

  • Ali M., Saad A., Reynaud C., Capapé C. 2013. First records of the Round Fantail Stingray, Taeniura grabata (Chondrichthyes: Dasyatidae), off the Syrian coast (eastern Mediterranean). Zoology in the Middle East 59(2): 176-178.
  • Başusta N, Erdëm U, Kumlu M. 1998. Two new records for the Turkish seas: Round stingray Taeniura grabata and skate stin­gray Himantura uarnak (Dasayatidae). Journal of Zoology 44: 65–66.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mancusi C., Baino R., Fortuna C., De Sola L.G., Morey G., Bradai M.N., Kallianotis A., Soldo A., Hemida F. Saad A.., Dimech M., Peristeraki P., Bariche M., Clo S., De Sabata E., Castellano L., Garibaldi F., Lanteri L., Tinti F., Pais A., Sperone E., Micarelli P., Poisson F., Sion L., Carlucci R., Cebrian-Menchero D., Seret B., Ferretti F., El-Far A., Saygu I., Shakman E., Bartoli A., Guallart J., Damalas D., Megalofonou P., Vacchi M., Colloca F., Bottaro M., Notarbartolo Di Sciara G., Follesa M.C., Cannas R., Kabasakal H., Zava B., Cavlan G., Jung A., Abudaya M., Kolitari J., Barash A., Joksimovic A., Cetkovic I., Marceta B., Gonzalez Vilas L., Tiralongo F., Giovos I., Bargnesi F., Lelli S., Barone M., Moro S., Mazzoldi C., Abella A., Serena F. 2020. MEDLEM database, a data collection on large Elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean and Black seas.  Mediterranean Marine Science 21(2): 276-288.
  • Serena F., Silvestri R., Voliani A., 1999. Su una cattura accidentale di Taeniura grabata (E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire,1817) (Chondrichthyes, Dasyatidae). Biologia Marina Mediterranea 6(1): 617-618.