Torpedo marmorata 

Scope: Mediterranean
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Torpedinidae

Scientific Name: Torpedo marmorata Risso, 1810
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Spotted Torpedo, Marbled Electric Ray, Marbled Torpedo
French Torpille Marbrée
Spanish Tembladera
Taxonomic Notes: This species is sometimes called Spotted Electric Ray, which has resulted in confusion between this species and the Blackspotted Electric ray (T. foscomaculata).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-03-25
Assessor(s): Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Serena, F., Ungaro, N., Ferretti, F., Pheeha, S., Human, B., McCully, S. & Buscher, E.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L., Kemp, J.R. & Allen, D.J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Dulvy, N.K.
Mediterranean regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

The Spotted Torpedo Ray (Torpedo marmorata) is a demersal species that seems to be widespread in the Mediterranean Sea. It is not targeted by commercial fisheries, but is taken as bycatch in demersal trawl fisheries, coastal trammel nets, and bottom longlines, then usually discarded. Trawl survey data indicate that this species is more common than other Torpedo species in the northern Mediterranean Sea, with a stable population trend in waters south of France, and possible increasing trend in coastal waters of Italy. Conversely, a 24% decline was reported in the Adriatic Sea between 1948 and 2005. Owing to its broad geographic range and low commercial value, combined with an absence of evidence for declines (except in the Adriatic Sea), the population is suspected to be stable overall; therefore the Spotted Torpedo Ray is assessed as Least Concern in Mediterranean waters. In future, fisheries bycatch and landings should be monitored.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Spotted Torpedo Ray is found throughout shallow continental shelf waters of the Mediterranean Sea (Whitehead et al. 1984).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt (Egypt (African part), Sinai); France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland)); Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Libya; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Slovenia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia, Turkey-in-Europe)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):100
Upper depth limit (metres):10
Range Map:161328-3

Population [top]

Population:Trends in abundance are uncertain for the European region because beam trawl surveys only catch this species in low numbers and it is not commercially targeted. Reports indicate that it is more common than the other two Torpedo species in the Adriatic Sea: the Ocellate Torpedo Ray (Torpedo torpedo) and the Great Torpedo Ray (Torpedo nobiliana; Bini 1967). The International Trawl Survey in the Mediterranean programme covers the European Mediterranean coast almost continuously from western Morocco and Spain in the west to the Aegean Sea in the east. A total of 6,336 tows were performed between 1994 and 1999 at depths of 10−800 m. This species occurred in 317 of 6,336 hauls (Baino et al. 2001), indicating that it is relatively abundant in the northern Mediterranean Sea compared with other elasmobranch species recorded. Bertrand et al. (2000) and Aldebert (1997) both found no evidence of population decline for this species on the southern coast of France. Analysis of trawl survey data in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea showed that the population is increasing in the coastal zone, probably owing to the low commercial value of the species (Ferretti et al. 2005). Conversely, Ferretti et al. (2013) reported a 24% population decline in the Adriatic Sea between 1948 and 2005. Despite this decline in the Adriatic Sea, the Spotted Torpedo Ray population is suspected to be stable overall in Mediterranean waters.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This benthic species occurs over sea grasses, rocky reefs, and soft or stony substrates at depths of 10−100 m (Serena 2005). It avoids temperatures above 20°C.

In Egyptian and Tunisian Mediterranean waters, the largest recorded male was 39.5 cm total length (TL), while the largest female was 61.2 cm TL (Capapé 1979, Abdel-Aziz 1994). In the western English Channel, the largest male recorded was 43 cm TL. Males mature at 21−29 cm TL and females at 31−39 cm TL. Mellinger (1971) reported that females mature at ~12 years and live to 20 years of age, while males mature at five years and live to 12−13 years. The generation length is therefore ~16 years. This aplacental live-bearing species has a gestation period of 10−12 months (Abdel-Aziz 1994). It probably breeds every two years, and fecundity appears to increase with the size of the female (Capapé 1979, Abdel-Aziz 1994). Females produce three to 18 pups, measuring 10−14 cm TL at birth. The breeding season is reportedly November to December (Mellinger 1971).

Generation Length (years):16
Movement patterns:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not thought to be exploited or traded commercially. Historically, the Spotted Torpedo Ray was sold smoked in Adriatic Sea, although its meat was of the lowest commercial value (Ninni 1912).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Spotted Torpedo Ray is not commercially fished, but it is taken as bycatch in demersal trawl fisheries, coastal trammel nets, and bottom longlines; it is usually discarded at sea due to its low commercial value (Minervini et al. 1985). As a result of this discarding and the grouping of landings data with other rays, little information is available on the catch of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No species-specific measures are in place. Precautionary conservation measures should include the live release of individuals caught, improved monitoring of fisheries bycatch, identification of important nursery areas, and the establishment of protected areas for such demersal species. Research is also required on population size, trends, and capture in fisheries throughout the Spotted Torpedo Ray's range.

Citation: Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Serena, F., Ungaro, N., Ferretti, F., Pheeha, S., Human, B., McCully, S. & Buscher, E. 2016. Torpedo marmorata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T161328A16527917. . Downloaded on 17 August 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided