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Potamotrygon orbignyi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES POTAMOTRYGONIDAE

Scientific Name: Potamotrygon orbignyi
Species Authority: (Castelnau, 1855)
Synonym(s):
Potamotrygon dumerilii (Castelnau, 1855)
Potamotrygon humerosa Garman, 1913
Trygon orbignyi Castelnau, 1855
Taxonomic Notes: This species shows a wide range of colour variation. Misidentifications occur with other potamotrygonid species such as P. constellata, P. castexi and possibly with P. motoro (Rincón pers. comm.) and P. humerosa.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2003-06-24
Annotations:
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Góes de Araújo, M.L., Pinto de Almeida, M., Rincón, G., Charvet-Almeida, P. & Rosa, R.S.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Potamotrygon orbignyi is a widely distributed freshwater stingray found throughout numerous river systems of the Amazon Basin. It has a low fecundity, and exhibits geographical variation in biological parameters. The species is taken as food and juveniles enter the ornamental fish trade although it is not highly sought after. In some areas, its habitat is threatened by illegal mining activities. Furthermore, it is persecuted in tourist areas and also targeted in sports fisheries. It is assessed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution and abundance, but a number of conservation measures (which would also benefit other potamotrygonid species) are recommended to ensure that its populations remain viable. These include the development of research and monitoring programs, legislation to regulate the ornamental and sports fisheries, protection of nursery areas and public education to reduce persecution.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Inland waters of South America: widely distributed in several river systems of the Amazon Basin. Recorded from the Rio Orinoco drainage in Venezuela, Colombian Amazon, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, to the lower Amazon, Tocantins and Araguaia, Brazil (Rosa 1985).
Countries:
Native:
Brazil; Colombia; French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nursery areas have been observed for this species along the shores of some islands located in the Marajó Bay region (State of Pará, Brazil). In this area, 98% (n=276) of the specimens captured corresponded to neonate or young juveniles (Almeida 2003, Charvet-Almeida, unpublished data). Nursery areas have also been observed in sandy beaches of the Negro River tributary (M.L. Araújo pers. obs.).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The distribution of this species in the Amazon estuary region is influenced by seasonal salinity variations (Almeida 2003, Charvet-Almeida unpublished data). It is found in temperatures ranging from 28 to 35°C (Lasso et al. 1996, Araújo, Charvet-Almeida and Almeida unpublished data). Adult specimens exhibit diel movements: during the day they occupy deeper water areas and during the night they are present in shallow areas (M.L. Araújo pers. obs.).

Different biological data have been observed in distinct river basins/regions, according to the following authors:

Venezuelan llanos (Lasso et al. 1996)
Size at maturity: 23 cm DW (male), 29.5 cm DW (female)
Maximum size: 31 cm DW
Litter size: 1

Brazilian Amazon Basin (Charvet-Almeida, Araújo and Almeida 2005)
Size at maturity: 39 cm DW (male), 44 cm DW (female)
Gestation time: estimated at six months
Reproductive periodicity: annual, birthing during the rainy season
Litter size: 1-5 (average of 2).

Tocantins Basin (Rincón unpublished data)
Size at maturity: 23 cm DW (male), 26-28 cm DW (female)
Maximum size: 42.8 cm DW
Size at birth: ~25-26 cm TL. The smallest neonate captured was 26.5 cm TL (13 cm DW).
Reproductive periodicity: May breed year-round, but gestation period unknown.
Litter size: 1

The feeding habit of this species includes mainly insects (Lasso et al. 1996; assessors unpublished data).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is taken as food and juveniles enter the ornamental fish trade. In some areas, its habitat is threatened by illegal mining activities. The post-capture mortality in the ornamental fishery towards this species is estimated at 10% (Araújo unpublished data). There is also uncontrolled fishing pressure (both through persecution and sports fishing) on this species developed by the tourism industry around Negro River during the dry season. Although widely distributed, this species requires attention due to its apparent low fecundity.

Capture for the ornamental trade has been steady but in small quantities in the last five years (Araújo, personal observation). It has a low value in the ornamental market and so is not highly sought after.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The ornamental trade is regulated by export quota in Brazil.

Required Conservation Measures include development of fishery monitoring programs, specific legislation for the sport fishery, public education to reduce persecution in tourist areas and the protection of nursery areas.

Citation: Góes de Araújo, M.L., Pinto de Almeida, M., Rincón, G., Charvet-Almeida, P. & Rosa, R.S. 2009. Potamotrygon orbignyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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