Stingrays are a group of rays, which are cartilaginous fish related to sharks. Most stingrays have one or more barbed stingers on the tail, which are used exclusively in self-defense. The stinger may reach a length around 35 cm, and its underside has two grooves with venom glands. The stinger is covered with a thin layer of skin, the integumentary sheath, in which the venom is concentrated. A few members of the suborder, such as the manta and porcupine rays, do not have stingers.
Stingrays are common in coastal tropical and subtropical marine waters throughout the world. While most stingrays are relatively widespread and not currently threatened, for several species conservation status is more problematic, leading to their being listed as vulnerable or endangered by IUCN. The status of several other species is poorly known, leading to their being listed as data deficient.