There are six species of Stingray that most commonly inhabit coastal Florida and Florida Keys waters: the Atlantic, Bluntnose, Roughtail, Smooth Butterfly Ray, Southern Stingray, Yellow Stingray, and Roughtail Stingray. The Roughtail is the largest whiptail stingray species found in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, with a maximum wingspan of up to 7.25 feet and weight of up to 660lbs. All of these species have the barbed stinger in their tails that gives the Stingray its name. Many Key West visitors enjoy observing Rays, which is quite easy to do as they are so common and numerous. Rays can be spotted while diving, snorkeling, or kayaking, and they may be safely observed. They are fairly easy to approach, and tend to be curious rather than wary animals. The sting from a Ray is rarely fatal, but it does leave a serious and painful cut or puncture wound that will require medical attention and possibly surgery, so caution is warranted.
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