Giant Freshwater Stingray (Himantura chaophraya)

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Chondrichthyes
  • Subclass: Elasmobranchii
  • Order: Myliobatiformes
  • Family: Dasyatidae
  • Genus: Himantura
  • Genus: Himantura chaophraya
Common names: Giant Freshwater Stingray Latin name: Himantura chaophraya Thai name: Pla Krabaen (ราหูน้ำจืด Thailand status: Native Max size: 300kg+ (660lb) Diet: Crustaceans, Fish Habitat: Freshwater/Brackish

The Giant Freshwater Sting Ray (Himantura chaophraya) is an endangered species and is close to going on the critical list. Not a great deal is known about its habits and life cycle in its native habitats. Its main threats come from destruction of its natural habitats and blocking of its breeding routes. Another big threat is from deforestation.

Although not a direct threat, the deforestation causes large amounts of silt to be deposited into the rivers where it is found . The silt then causes a decrease in water vegetation and therefore the life forms that inhabit it. Its really a big chain reaction and one small change in the ecosystem can have a drastic effect right through the whole system.

The Giant Freshwater Stingray can be found in the Chao Praya, Mae Klong and Bangpakong rivers. It is  arguably the Largest freshwater fish species in the world but at the moment recorded catches are quite few and documented captures with pictures are even less and as the Giant Mekong catfish is far better documented it is still classed as the Largest freshwater fish in the world.