As kids growing up in coastal southern California, we loved to warn each other authoritatively “Shuffle your feet!”, having been scared by older cousins and uncles about the dangers of stingrays in the warm shallow waters of some of the bays we swam in. Older cousins and uncles may like to terrify little girls for fun, but there really are stingrays in these waters. They are mild-mannered and usually slow-moving in their search for amphipods and other small crustaceans, but would defend themselves instinctively if a little foot stomped down on their backs, as anyone would.
This ray was gliding slowly in and under the edge of the pickleweed mats in the summery shallows of Bolsa Chica Preserve in coastal Orange County California. It’s a California or Round Stingray, Urobatis halleri, and is about the size of a small dinner plate, if dinner plates had tails. (Photo A. Shock)
For all the info about this species you ever needed and more, click here.