Pastinachus sephen (Forsskål, 1775)
Pastinachus sephen (Forsskål, 1775)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Pastinachus sephen

English Name: Cowtail stingray

Creole Name: Lare lafwet/bannan

French Name: Pastenague plumetée

IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT)


Medium-sized stingray with a very broad rhombic disc. Starry based denticles forming wideband on central disc in adults, giving rough dorsal texture. Small thorns on 
mid-shoulder in young, usually absent in adults. Disc width 1.2 to 1.3 times its length, anterior margins almost straight, apices angular. Snout short, obtuse, with 
minute lobe at tip. Eye small and interorbital space broad. Mouth small and not very protrusible. Long tail with well-developed ventral tail fold and terminal filament. 
Base of tail broad and depressed. Usually one caudal sting positioned well back on tail. No dorsal fold. Pelvic fins large, tips narrowly rounded.

Colour. Dorsal surface plane brown to greyish. Ventral surface white. Tail usually dark on surfaces apart from white ventral base (Last et al 2016).


Attains at least 89cm DW.

Habitat and Ecology:

Demersal, mainly inshore on soft bottoms, often near coral reefs. Feeds on small fishes, molluscs, crustaceans and marine worms (Last et al 2016). Can be readily seen, coming 
in with the tide, in the lagoons of the east coast of Mahé to feed on the mud flats.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the net fishery, but is a rare component of the catch.


Can cause serious injury with tail sting.


Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2019). FishBase. (24/05/19).
Kyne, P.M. et al (2017). Pastinachus sephen. The IUCN Red List 2017: e.T70682503A109922153. (24/05/19).
Last, P.R. et al (2016). Rays of the World. CSIRO Publishing ISBN 9781501705328


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Pastinachus sephen, Cowtail stingray. Seychelles Seatizens. (Updated 29/09/21).

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