Inktells Inktells writes awesome content about tattoos. They also sell beautiful temporary tattoos @
6 min read

18 New Stingray Tattoo Design Ideas for Men and Women in 2020

About Stingrays and why you should get them tattooed

The meaning of tattooing an animal is often associated with the behavior of this animal in nature. The person getting the tattoo, in their own way, associate with the animal and ascribes to themselves their most eminent qualities. This fully applies to stingray tattoos.

These animals belong to a group of fish that are closely related to sharks but, unlike sharks, they do not pose a great threat to humans. They are round and flat with a long sting on the back and two eyes in the front that sit on the top of the head with a little mouth at the bottom. 

A cute stingray tattoo in a minimalist style by @kyrabak via Instagram

They are not aggressive animals but they sting a person if they feel threaten or are accidentally stepped on. The stingray easily adapts to habitat conditions - they feel great in warm tropical waters, but are also comfortable in the cold sea depths of the Arctic and Antarctic. 

These fish are found not only in the seas. Several species of stingrays live in the fresh water of rivers and lakes. They can be found on the sandy bottom, where they often burrow into the sand, only with their sting and eyes visible. Here they wait for small prey and camouflage themselves from predators such as sharks.

The sight and movement of these mysterious creatures is mesmerizing. They are tough and thus stingray tattoo designs are great for people who are tough in front of others but actually soft on the inside.

Stingray tattoo with Tribal designs by @blackstarstudio via Instagram

They are beautiful creatures that are fast, agile and graceful. Therefore, a stingray is a great choise of a tattoo because it can bring out both a male or a female side, depending on the design, making it suitable for both men and women. If you want a tattoo of an animal in a visible area, this might be the perfect choice as hardly anyone will ever get offended by a stringray tattoo.

Stingray tattoo in illustrative style by @dorota_tatuuje via Instagram

Meaning of Stingray Tattoos

Stingray tattoos can have several different meanings. Generally, girls get stingray tattoos to emphasize their grace. Boys get them to emphasize adaptation.

The most common as described below.

Black and Gray artwork projecting a possible skeleton of a stingray by @legacytattooandartgallery via Instagram


Meaning: Adaptation

The stingray adapts well to the environment and what is happening around it, avoiding danger and catching food at the same time.

It is related to this symbolism and can be chosen as a tattoo that represents a person's ability to adapt to their conditions.

Colourful stingray in watercolor style by @sirene_lestrange via Instagram

Meaning: Grace

Stingray whips on the water quickly and lands on the bottom gracefully, like a ballerina, so women often choose him as a totem for slenderness and even femininity.

Dotwork piece of a moving stingray by @valentino_mozzo via Instagram

Meaning: Sensitivity

This creature finds its prey and senses danger extremely quickly, because it is sensitive to changes in the environment. For some, stingray represents sensitive emotions and feelings.

A couple of stingrays in dotwork style by @loloartsplus via Instagram

Meaning: Speed

When threatened or caught prey this fish can move with lightning speed and people can choose Stingray as a tattoo theme as it represents speed, which can be meaningful to them; for example, an athlete or a businessman.

Stingray in illustration style by @rockybonnaside via Instagram

Meaning: Stealth

Fly under the radar! This creature can lie, so it is still in the sand and camouflaged so effectively that even very sensitive sharks are unable to detect their presence. You can opt for tattoos such as this because you see yourself as someone who can blend in or if you have an introverted personality.

A couple of stingrays in Floral style by via Instagram

Meaning: Protection

As long as they are not aggressive these fish can hurt you with their spiny tail. Stingray tattoos can be used as a protection totem to guard against harm.

A minimalist dotwork by @r.w.s_tattoo via Instagram


In addition to the most common, the stingray tattoos can also carry the following meanings:

  • Flexibility and ability to adapt to circumstances
  • Ability to perceive life as it is
  • Patience and calmness in difficult moments
  • Regularity and lack of aggressiveness
  • Inner strength of character
  • The ability to protect their interests

A surrealist stingray by @tattoosbydaren via Instagram

Although men choose the image of this animal more often than girls, it can be considered a universal pattern. These animals are so peculiar that their image is given a symbol of some mystery. 

Full stingray in dotwork by @katy_b_tattoos via Instagram

People who get these tattoos in visible places are often reminded of their poise, self-confidence and their ability to protect their opinion and interests. This tattoo demonstrates to others that its owner knows how to solve issues calmly and judiciously.

A man with a stingray tattoo will not unnecessarily get involved in conflict situations, but he will not let himself be offended. The owner of such a tattoo demonstrates his strength, endurance, reliability, and also inspires confidence that in a difficult situation he or she can be counted on.

Frontal stingray in dotwork by @tintayaguja via Instagram

Other Tattoo Designs you might like

Regarding the placement

Many stingray tattoos are created in order to look like Polynesian tribal art as the designs reflect their cultural tattoos. There are people who believe that oceanic designs (such as stingrays) may have been used by tribesmen to denote rank and show achievements.

Polynesian stingray tattoo designs are very popular and attractive, and they often represent sea creatures and other aquatic organisms.

Other designs range from 3D, where the artist is able to make the stingray tattoo design appear to rise from the skin using special shading and sizing techniques to the simple outlines of the fish.

Stingray with a mix of japanese and watercolor features by @tseg_tatts via Instagram

Ideal Position for Tattoos of Stingrays

There are many attractive places for stingray tattooing. When it is used as a back or shoulders piece, a bigger design will work great. This does not mean that it cannot work in medium size, but generally those are more often placed on the forearm, lower leg and foot.

A tail can also make it more interesting by having the tail wrapping around your finger or wrist or floating over the shoulder.

Minimalisr stingray by @indiapia.tats via Instagram


You can choose to have your stingray tattoos on both arms or both legs so that it comes together as a piece when you press them together. In some designs, a sharp barb can be seen on the tail, while in others it is smooth - it will depend on the meaning you're trying to give it.


On the Back - usually a large image with outstretched wings in the area of the shoulder blades, while the tail of the stingray goes down the spine

On the Hand - it turns out beautifully both on the shoulder and slightly below the elbow

On the Leg - girls generally have them on the hip and guys on the calves

On the lower back and lower abdomen - generally used by girls, a tattoo in these places looks tempting and sexy

Tattoo Design on Scars

A stingray tattoo doesn't have to be only aesthetic, it can also serve as a way to hide some defects on the skin. 

Dotwork stingray with it's shadow by @andyzngt via Instagram

Try looking for an artist who has already done a stingray before as they'll make fewer mistakes if it's not their first time with that design. Make sure you also find an artist who is comfortable with tattooing on scars or at least has done some cover-up work. The tattooist will help you decide on an idea and a sketch, depending on your goals, in case you don't have one yet.

If you already know what style you prefer, make sure to find your tattooist here on Wizard.

Tribal style is often perfect to masks problems on the skin.

Tribal style stingray by @alex_mtz31 via Instagram


Stingray Designs are Divided into Three Symbolic Parts

- The upper body and fins of the stingray, to define the tone

- The middle of the image, as the semantic core of your piece

- And, finally, the tail, usually demonstrating strength and the ability to defend itself

A stingray tattoo in a symbolic sense can be considered one of the most innocuous drawings. This stylish image will attract the attention of others and highlight the individuality of the owner.


Watercolor stingray over scars by @scareternal via Instagram

Hope you enjoyed this article and fell now ready to tattoo this amazing animal.

About the author: INKTELLS

Inktells is a website where you can buy tattoo designs to use as temporary tattoo, either to test an idea or to rock that design for a limited period of time. They sometimes make fabulous articles such as this one, so, if you liked it, make sure to read other pieces from them.

Check out some of their Temporary Tattoos you might like:

→  Moon Mountain

→  Forest Lighthouse


→  Special Finger Tattoo Design Ideas for Men and Women

→  Tattoo Designs on the back of the hand for Men and Women

→  Fine Skull Tattoo Design Ideas for Men and Women

→  Best Barcode Tattoo Design Ideas for Men and Women

→  Best Swallow Tattoo Design Ideas for Women

Cover image of a surreal Stingray with geometric patterns beautiful made by Sartwithapen