Body flat, almost rhomboid shaped, with nearly straight anterior margins, snout obtusely triangular. Pectoral fin apex rounded (in juveniles) to nearly rounded in adults. Spiracles situated closely posterior to eyes. Mouth with 4-5 fleshy papillae. Long whip-like tail, 2.5-3.5 longer than disc width with one (rarely two) serrated spines close to its base. Upper surface mostly smooth, with a series of medium small flattened tubercles from eyes to tail base.
upper surface light brown to greyish-yellow with numerous dark brown spots. Lower surface white.
common disc diameter 40 - 120 cm (max. 50 cm).
Taniura grabata: posterior part of tail has membranous fold below.
Dasyatis spp. Upper surface more or less uniform in color (some D. pastinaca specimens have a bluish-grey pattern on a brown-olive background).
Rajidae: body covered, at least partially, with prickles and/or thornlets; no whip-like tail.
Myliobatidae, Rhinopteridae and Mobulidae: head distinctly protrudes from body.
Gymuridae: tail shorter than disc width.
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Feeds on fishes, crustaceans and, to a lesser extent, on molluscs. An ovoviviparous species. Reaches sexual maturity at the age of 4 (disc diameter 1 m). 3-5 offspring of 20 cm disc diameter born after one year gestation.
inhabits sandy or muddy substrates at depths to 50 m. Known as a euryhaline species often penetrating estuaries.