Common Stingray – Dasyatis pastinaca

The Common Stingray is a species in the family of the Dasyatidae (Whiptail Stingrays) and thus belongs to the subclass of the Elasmobranchii. The name pastinaca dates from the time of the Romans, since the sting for them had resemblance to the root of the parsnip (Pastinaca sativa).

Common Stingray - Dasyatis pastinaca Elasmobranchii rays and sharks diving canary islands atlantic ocean canaries
Common Stingray – Dasyatis pastinaca


Dasyatis pastinaca has a gold-brown backside that is sometimes dark marbled. On his long tail it wears a poisonous sting. To distinguish from the Atlantic Stingray by its lighter colour and peakish ends of the wings. It reaches a maximum size of 240cm in length, but usually remains below 100cm.

Habitat and Distribution

The Common Stingray prefers to live close to the coast, on sandy ground, down to 200m depth, but you can also find it on rocky ground. When diving in the Canaries it is observed frequently.
It is also found in the eastern Atlantic from the south of Norway, via the UK, the western Baltic Sea, the North Sea, Madeira, to South Africa. It is also common in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.


Dasyatis pastinaca lives solitaire and feeds on crustaceans, invertebrates, echinoderms and small fish.
They are rather dawn and night active and hide during the day in the sand, in caves or under overhangs.