Reproduction and ecology of the Atlantic stingray, Dasyatis sabina, in Florida coastal lagoons

Snelson, F.F.Jr; Williams Hooper, S.E.; Schmid, T.H.

Copeia(3): 9-39


ISSN/ISBN: 0045-8511
DOI: 10.2307/1445395
Accession: 018094707

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The Atlantic stingray, Dasyatis sabina, is characteristic of coastal estuarine habitats from Chesapeake Bay to Campeche, Mexico. It is one of three stingrays found in the Indian River Lagoon system on the east coast of Florida. This species was common to abundant in water less than 1 m deep in spring, summer, and fall. It moved into deeper water during cold weather but resumed activity on the shallow seagrass flats when temperatures rose above 16-17 C. Males matured at about 20 cm disk width (DW) and reached a maximum size of 32.6 cm an 1.6 kg. Males had active testes from Sept.-March. Reproductive activity was observed in March but may have occurred throughout winter and spring. Females matured at about 24 cm DW and reached a maximum size of 37.0 cm and 2.2 kg. Females ovulated from late March through early April and carried yolked ova in the left uterus in April and May. Recognizable embryos first appeared in early June and young were born in late July through early August after an apparent gestation period of 4-4 1/2 mo. Brood size ranged from 1-4 (.hivin.x = 2.6) and neonates were 10-13 (.hivin.x = 12.2) cm DW.