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Stingray Tattoo Design Ideas

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

Who wouldn't want a stingray tattoo?

Who wouldn't want a stingray tattoo?


Just like other animal tattoos, the stingray can hold symbolic meaning to those who have it. It is a popular choice in the Polynesian culture, but it's not considered to be a mainstream choice.

The most popular stingray designs are done as tribal tattoos. Someone may consider such a tattoo if they feel that they share traits or have a special connection with the stingray.

The stingray is a special creature and is excellent at hunting and outwitting other hunters. It can hide in the underwater sands (mainly from sharks)—it covers up with sand and lays still. Because of its ability to hide, the stingray can be a symbol of cleverness or protection.

As a design, the stingray can adapt to any color, size, or posture. Small ones may have little detail, but when done well, they still can be a stunning design. The bigger the stingray, the better.

Most stingray tattoos portray the stingray alone without a background. Personally, I think blue and black ink look good together along with light shades of blue. That combination really sets the black ink off, so I prefer a little light blue shading.

Stingray Tattoo Meanings

Remember that, in the end, your tattoo represents what you want it to. In saying that, below are some common meanings of the stingray tattoo.

  • Emotion
  • Protection
  • Adaptation
  • Cleverness
  • Gracefulness
  • Peacefulness
  • Friendliness
  • Sensitivity
  • Danger
  • Toxicity
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Stealth

Designs and Variations

  • As you read above, tribal stingrays are one of the most popular options, but they can also be portrayed in a more realistic or cartoonish style.
  • This tattoo could have a background that includes water, turtles, bubbles, starfish, octopus, fish, sharks, dolphins, seaweed, plants, or coral, but the stingray is usually portrayed alone.
  • Stingray tattoos are usually done in black and gray ink, with appropriate shading to make the creature appear three-dimensional.
  • Some may show the stingray using its poisonous barb. I have seen designs that show the stingray piercing a heart, which may be something to consider.
  • Stingrays may also be in the background of a larger tattoo.

Before Getting Inked

There are a few things that you should remember before getting tattooed. Just as you are now, make sure that you take the time to do your research. Make sure you completely understand what your tattoo represents. Don't rush to get inked! If you are not completely sure, don't get it! If you're having second thoughts, give it more time. Those that rush to get tattooed usually have regrets about their decision later on down the road. You don't want to make this mistake. Take your time, do your research, and make sure you are completely sure about your choice.

© 2012 Richard Ricky Hale


Ssarahh on July 08, 2019:

Okay first off those are manta rays. Im sick and tired of people calling their tattoos stingrays when they aren't

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andres on April 24, 2013:

manta rays...

Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on August 11, 2012:

Thank you all for your comments.

Michael Fielder from North Central West Virginia, where the green grass grows... on August 10, 2012:

Another one!

As a kid, 13, I began diving in the Red Sea when we moved to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. On one of my first dives, we saw several of these little guys and I was fascinated by them. I've seen them as small as 9 or 10 inches (wingspan) and Manta's with 8 feet! They are pure poetry in motion in the water.



Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 09, 2012:

These are great. Interesting.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 08, 2012:

I like the history you included with the stingray tattoos, Unique and colorful..

BeyondMax from Sydney, Australia on August 08, 2012:

They are so gorgeous, simply amazing!

Life Under Construction from Neverland on August 07, 2012:

Amazing stingrays designs. Wonderful and creative

India Arnold from Northern, California on August 07, 2012:

Some of these stingray tattoos are simply amazing to look at. Great information for those looking to add a unique tattoo to their body art!


Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on August 07, 2012:

Another wonderful idea for a tattoo. I always love the symbolism you apply in these hubs. It puts you a cut above the rest in regards to tattoo images. Voted up and shared!

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