Name: Black Stingray (Bathytoshia lata)
Family: Dasyatidae (Stingrays)
Habitat: Exposed reef; 2-50 m depth.
Distribution: Northern New South Wales south round to Western Australia. Also South Eastern Africa, Lord Howes Island, and New Zealand
Size: Length to 4m. Disc width to 1.8m
Found this old footage of a dive in northern New South Wales using my old GoPro hero 3 where I managed to film one of the largest Stingrays. Also known as a Thorntail stingray or longtail stingray due to…You guessed it, having a long tail and thorns/spines down its back. This is what distinguishes this species from its other massive cousin who shares its range, the smooth stingray, which has a smaller tail and no spines on its back as well as some small white spots across the disc flaps. I was really happy to get a close up shot of the spiny back, if you look closely near the end of the video as its glides by me, you can clearly see the sharp thorns of various sizes running along the midline of the back from behind the eyes down to the visible stinging spine situated near the middle of the tail. As you can see, this species is inquisitive, unaggressive and approachable but stay clear from that stinging spine. Was fortunate enough to include a Grey Nurse shark swimming next to the stingray which was not too difficult on the day as there were +-20 of them swimming around us. I will be returning to this dive with a better camera and cannot wait, so watch this space.
#oceanesteem #wildlife #videography #education #conservation #scubadiving #snorkelling #stingray #shark