Trygonorrhina melaleuca


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Trygonorrhina melaleuca
Species Authority: Scott, 1954
Common Name(s):
English Magpie Fiddler Ray
Taxonomic Notes: This species is possibly a mutant form of Trygonorrhina fasciata (Last and Stevens 1994).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Stevens, J.D.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
The Magpie Fiddler Ray (Trygonorrhina melaleuca) is a very rare ray, known only from a few specimens taken from shallow water in St Vincents Gulf, South Australia. No specimens are available for examination in museum collections. The species may be a mutant form of the Southern Fiddler Ray Trygonorrhina fasciata. However, until further systematic studies can be carried out, these two forms are considered as valid species. Trygonorrhina melaleuca is distinctive in appearance and occurs in an area that is recreationally and commercially fished. It is susceptible to the trawl, hook and net fisheries that operate in the Gulf of St. Vincent, implying a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals. The species’ extent of occurrence is estimated at <5,000 km² and it is therefore assessed as Endangered B1ab(v), based on continued fishing pressure throughout its limited range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern Indian Ocean: only known from St. Vincent’s Gulf, South Australia (Last and Stevens 1994).
Australia (South Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Very rare, known only from a few specimens taken from St. Vincent’s Gulf (Last and Stevens 1994).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is only known from a few specimens taken in shallow water; the largest of these measuring 90 cm (Last and Stevens 1994).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Susceptible to trawl, hook and net fisheries operating in the area (J. Stevens pers. obs. 2007). Given apparent rarity in shallow water, any bycatch would be of concern.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place.

Citation: Stevens, J.D. 2009. Trygonorrhina melaleuca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 24 May 2015.
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