Animal Encounters

Fun Animal Encounters

From a hairy tarantula to a talking African gray parrot, you never know what you’ll bump into in Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari at the Tennessee Aquarium!


Animal Keeper

Animal Keeper Updates

Get a peek behind the scenes of the Aquarium’s Husbandry department. Read their weekly animal updates and get an insider’s look at caring for over 10,000 animals and plants.


Black Stingrays

Potamotrygon henlei 

ON EXHIBIT:  Forest Pool in the Tropical Cove of Ocean Journey

Black Stingrays


River stingrays are more highly feared than piranha in areas where they both live.  While piranha are generally shy, stingrays can deliver a painful sting if stepped on.  This is why it is wise to shuffle your feet when wading in stingray habitat.  Stingray barbs are serrated and are shed as the animal grows and can be found on the bottom of the exhibit. 

The black stingray is classified as threatened. Numbers of this animal have declined due mostly to habitat loss. However, the Aquarium will focus on breeding this rare freshwater singray.

Fan Photo

Black stingrays
Photo by jmwnerw

About This Animal

SIZE: 12 inches

RANGE: South America

HABITAT: Found on the bottom of rivers, primarily in the Tocantins River basin

DIET:  Small crustaceans, worms and mollusks