Giant Freshwater Stingray

Giant freshwater stingray or Freshwater whipray (Himantura chaophraya). The disk of this fish measured 202cm and 413cm from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. Himantura chaophraya may be the largest species of freshwater fish in the world. More species of giant fish occur in the Mekong River than in any other river on earth. Populations of the giant stingray and other large-bodied Mekong fish are in decline.
Key Facts
Common name
Common Name

Giant Freshwater Stingray



IUCN: Endangered

IUCN Red List Entry


Up to 600kg

Latin name

Scientific Name

Himantura chaophraya (syn. Himantura polylepis)

IUCN Red List Profile

Body Length

Up to 200cm, plus up to 500cm tail

Did you know?

Did you know?

Despite its huge size only described by scientists in 1990

The giant freshwater stingray is one of the largest and heaviest freshwater fishes in the world. Only described by scientists in 1990, the giant freshwater stingray occurs in several river systems in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. While Australian populations – which generally average much smaller than those in Southeast Asia – appear to be stable, giant freshwater stingrays have been under serious decline in Thailand, where they are now listed as critically endangered. In Cambodia, not much is known about this species’ status in the Mekong River, and more research is needed to develop an effective species management plan. As a benthic feeder foraging on the river bottom, these stingrays are especially vulnerable to increasing siltation due to human activity as well as to isolation of reproductive subpopulations through construction of large-scale hydropower dams.