Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana)

Origin: North and South American Atlantic coasts
Sighted at: Smathers Beach, Key West, Florida

 

A stingray! I spotted this little guy during one of my daily walks along the seawall in Key West.

Stingrays are fairly common in the Keys. Children are taught to do the “Stingray shuffle” when they’re walking along the ocean floor: by dragging your feet along the ocean floor, you’ll alert nearby stingrays, who will pre-emptively swim away. This is a preferable outcome to stepping on one that’s sleeping, and getting stung for your trouble!

I’m actually back home in Austin after my Key West sabbatical, but I still have lots of Keys animals to post – and a couple critters from my trip back – so stay tuned!