Megatrygon microps 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Myliobatiformes Dasyatidae

Scientific Name: Megatrygon microps (Annandale, 1908)
Common Name(s):
English Smalleye Stingray
Dasyatis microps (Annandale, 1908)
Trygon microps Annandale, 1908
Taxonomic Source(s): Last, P., White, W., de Carvalho, M., Séret, B., Stehmann, M. and Naylor, G. 2016. Rays of the World. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton.
Taxonomic Notes: Last et al. (2016) note that the placement of Megatrygon microps in the family Dasyatidae is provisional; it may be more closely related to the freshwater Neotropical stingrays (Potamotrygonidae) of South America. Further investigations are needed to determine the position of this species in the order Myliobatiformes, but it may belong in its own family (Last et al. 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-05-15
Assessor(s): Fahmi, White, W.T., Manjaji Matsumoto, B.M. & Pierce, S.J.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
Contributor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
This is an amended version of the 2015 assessment to accommodate the change in genus name from Dasyatis to Megatrygon.

The Smalleye Stingray (Megatrygon microps) is a large stingray (at least 222 cm disc width) that occurs in estuarine, river mouth, and coastal areas, but may also occur in deeper waters and the open ocean. It is reported from Mozambique, India, throughout areas of Southeast Asia, to northern Australia, but may be more widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific than previously considered. It is apparently rare in Indonesia, and may be rare throughout the rest of its range, but no information is available to determine historical population trends. The full depth range and its preferred habitat are poorly known, making it difficult to evaluate the potential effect of fisheries on this species. Inshore fishing pressure is intense throughout large areas of its known distribution, but without further information on this species' depth range, habitat, biology, and capture in fisheries, it is not possible to assess it beyond Data Deficient.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Smalleye Stingray has a patchy distribution in the Indo-West Pacific including Mozambique (Pierce et al. 2008), India and Bangladesh (including the Ganges River) (Annandale 1908, Ishihara et al. 1998, Kapoor et al. 2002), Maldives (Adam et al. 1998), Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) (Mohsin and Ambak 1996), Indonesia (White et al. 2006) and northern Australia (Last and Stevens 2009, W. White, pers. comm., 2015). Also likely occurs in other areas in the Indo-West Pacific.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory); Bangladesh; India; Indonesia (Kalimantan); Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak); Maldives; Mozambique; Thailand
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The scarcity of recorded observations suggests that the Smalleye Stingray is naturally rare and possibly patchily distributed (Pierce et al. 2008). It is frequently sighted around reefs in southern Mozambique. In Indonesia it seems that this species is scarce, but no information is available to determine historical population trends.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Smalleye Stingray is a large species found in coastal waters and river mouths (Kapoor et al. 2002), although also reported in deeper waters. No specific information is available on the full depth range but it is mainly found shallower than 200 m (Last and Stevens 2009) and its preferred habitat is poorly known. This stingray may extend into deeper water and further investigation is required into its full bathymetric range. It attains a disc width of up to 222 cm (Garman 1913), which suggests that it may be more biologically sensitive to population depletion than smaller stingray species. Furthermore, it is reported to give birth to a single pup (Last and Stevens 2009). Observations of this stingray in mid-water off Mozambique indicate that it is possibly semi-pelagic, which may account for its rarity in catches throughout its range compared to other dasyatid species (Pierce et al. 2008).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Smalleye Stingray is utilized for its meat and cartilage in Indonesia (White et al. 2006) and possibly elsewhere.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Smalleye Stingray is probably taken as bycatch by bottom longline, trammel net and trawl fisheries throughout its range. In Indonesia, this species is caught occasionally as byproduct in trawl and Danish seine fisheries operating in west (between Natuna and Karimata Islands) and south Kalimantan waters (Fahmi, pers. obs., 2007). This stingray was recorded only twice in the Danish seine fishery during studies of catches in August 2005 and May 2007 (two individuals were captured measuring 222 cm disc width and 245 cm total length). One individual was caught by artisanal spear fishers in August 2006 in southern Mozambique (Pierce et al. 2008). Inshore fishing pressure is intense throughout large areas of this species' geographic range, but it may occur deeper than is currently known, offering refuge from fisheries. Its possible semi-pelagic nature may offer some respite from demersal trawling.

In Australia, it has been recorded in the Northern Prawn Fishery in the Gulf of Carpentaria (W. White, unpubl. data). In Papua New Guinea it has been caught in low numbers in the Gulf of Papua trawl fishery (L. Baje, National Fisheries Authority, pers. comm., 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No species-specific measures currently in place. Collection of quantitative artisanal catch data on this species is needed to provide better data for estimating population trends.

Citation: Fahmi, White, W.T., Manjaji Matsumoto, B.M. & Pierce, S.J. 2016. Megatrygon microps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T161582A104166533. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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