Fontitrygon margaritella 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Myliobatiformes Dasyatidae

Scientific Name: Fontitrygon margaritella (Compagno & Roberts, 1984)
Dasyatis margaritella Compagno & Roberts, 1984
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds). 2016. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 29 September 2016. Available at: (Accessed: 29 September 2016).
Taxonomic Notes: Last et al. (2016) placed Dasyatis colarensis, D. garouaensis, D. geijskesi, D. margarita, D. margaritella, and Urogymnus ukpan within their newly described genus Fontitrygon.

This species is often confused with F. margarita (Séret 1990).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2007-01-03
Assessor(s): Marshall, L.J. & Cronin, E.S.
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S.L. & Séret, B.
This is an amended version of the 2007 assessment to accommodate the change in genus name.

Fontitrygon margaritella
is a small stingray that is often confused with the sympatric species F. margarita. Fontitrygon margaritella occurs demersally in both marine and brackish waters, including lagoons and estuaries. This species reaches 30 cm total length (TL), but little else is known about its biology. The interactions of this species with fisheries are uncertain, but may be similar to those of D. margarita, which is a species marketed for human consumption. However, the small size of F. margaritella may minimize its targeted capture. Due to the uncertainty of the catch levels and utilization of this species as well as lack of knowledge of its biology and depth range, it is assessed as Data Deficient at present. Revaluation of threats to this species should be made as more information becomes available.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Eastern central and southeast Atlantic: occurs from Cap Blanc, Mauritania to Angola (Séret 1990).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Cameroon; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mauritania; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – eastern central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population size unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This tropical demersal species occurs in both marine and brackish waters, where it has been known to enter lagoons and estuaries (Séret 1990). Its depth range is unknown, but may be similar to the 60 m depth of the sympatric Fontitrygon margarita (Stehmann 1981).

This species reaches at least 30 cm TL (Séret 1990). Little else is known about the biology of this species, although it is be ovoviviparous, with 1-3 pups (B. Séret pers. comm. 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although little is known about the specific threats to this species, and there are no species-specific catch data, it is possible that the threats to this species are similar to those affecting F. margarita, the sympatric species with which F. margaritella is often confused.

Fishing for F. margarita occurs in inshore waters in all its range off Senegal, Ivory Coast and Ghana, where it is caught mainly with trammelnets, bottom trawls and longlines, and presumably also in other parts of its range. The wings of F. margarita are marketed fresh, smoked and dried salted. (Stehmann, M. 1981). Although the small size of F. margaritella may mean that it is not a targeted species in these fisheries, it is probably still taken in "catch all" coastal fisheries in the region. Fontitrygon margaritella is (was) much more common than D. margarita. So most of the "historical" catches consisted mainly of F. margaritella. Despite efforts (training of the fishery observers) both species are still mixed in fishery statistics.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no specific conservation measures in place at this time, although the Members of the West African Sub-regional Fisheries Commission and some other African States are developing and implementing National Shark Plans under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA-Sharks. Other range States should be encouraged to follow suit in order to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region, taking account of the vulnerability of this and other inshore regional endemics to unregulated fishing activity. Further biological, distribution and fisheries data are required to assess any future conservation needs. Where taken, catches require monitoring.

Citation: Marshall, L.J. & Cronin, E.S. 2016. Fontitrygon margaritella. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T161520A104173198. . Downloaded on 24 April 2018.
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