close map

Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • River Scout

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in many of the river basins in Northern South America including the Amazon, Orinoco, Parana-Paraguay and Uruguay.
  • Found in shallow, murky waters.

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is brownish with circular spots on the back and tail.
  • Flattened, disc-shaped body. Short tail has no dorsal fin, while its small pelvic fins are tucked under its pectoral fins. Venomous spine on the tail.
  • Can grow to about 3.3 feet (100 cm) in diameter and weigh 33 lbs. (15 kg).

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of small fishes and invertebrates.
  • Commonly lies on the bottom, almost completely covered with sand, waiting for prey.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Gives live birth to about 16 pups at a time.

Conservation Status

  •   “Data deficient” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Also known as the “ocellate river stingray.”
  • Powerful venom in its barb can cause severe pain – this animal is feared more than the piranha throughout its range.
  • Barbs replaced up to three times a year.
  • Ancestors are from marine waters.
  • Popular home aquarium species.
  • Few predators except for some larger fish and the caiman.

Sharks and Rays Guide to the World. Hennemann, R., pg. 221
Smithsonian Institution Animal.  Burnie, D. and Wilson, D., pg. 477