The southern stingray (Dasyatis americana) is a bottom dwelling animal which continuously searches for prey mostly at night but also during the day. They have been observed alone, in pairs or in large schooling groups. This stingray is non-aggressive, burying itself in the sand for camouflage and using its tail barb when threatened.
It grazes slowly along the ocean floor relying on electro-reception in addition to a strong sense of smell and touch. It feeds on epibenthic prey such as crustaceans, mollusks, annelids, and small teleosts.
This is a coastal and estuarine species which lives in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Western Atlantic Ocean. It occurs from New Jersey to southern Brazil including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. The species is most abundant around Florida and the Bahamas. This stingray prefers areas of sandy bottoms, sea grass beds, and lagoons.
The conservation status of this stingray is unknown due to being "Data Deficient" according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the conservation status of species.
Native peoples in Polynesia, Malaysia, Central America, and Africa have used stingray barbs to make spears, knives, and other useful tools.