||Torpedo suessii Steindachner, 1898
||Red Sea Torpedo
Torpedo suessi Steindachner, 1898
||Weigmann, S. 2016. Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity. Journal of Fish Biology 88(3): 837-1037.
||Previously Torpedo suessi was considered a junior synonym of T. sinuspersici (Carvalho et al. 2002). Garman (1913) considered T. suessi to be a valid species, but thought that it may be synonymous with T. panthera. However, Carvalho et al. (2002) believe that this is not possible due to the inconceivability that the ornate colour pattern of T. suessi could transform into the typical pattern of small, irregular whitish spots present in T. panthera. Rather than being a synonym of T. sinuspersici, or T. panthera, it is much more likely that T. suessi is a valid species that occurs at least in the southern Red Sea (Carvalho et al. 2002). This species may also be identifiable with the paralectotype of T. fuscomaculata, but there is some uncertainty surrounding this, and T. suessi would still prove to be a valid species even it if it was conspecific with the paralectotype (Carvalho et al. 2002).
|Red List Category & Criteria:
||Kyne, P.M., Tesfamichael, D., Fernando, D. & Bineesh, K.K.
||Jabado, R. & Pollom, R.
||Jabado, R., Kyne, P.M.
The Red Sea Torpedo (Torpedo suessii) has not been recorded since its original collection in 1898. It is known only from a very small area (estimated to be <100 km²) off Mocha, Yemen in the southern Red Sea. It has not been recorded in landing site surveys in adjacent countries such as the Saudi Arabian Red Sea and Sudan, or in underwater survey work in Saudi Arabia. Artisanal and industrial fisheries are ongoing and intense in Yemeni waters, and illegal fishing is a serious issue. Industrial fishing commenced in 1970 and overall Yemen Red Sea catches have undergone a major decline from a peak in the late 1990s. While electric rays are generally not utilized, survival of bycatch is very low. Due to a very limited extent of occurrence, presence in only one location, and an ongoing decline inferred from intensive and ongoing fishing, the species is assessed as Critically Endangered under criterion B1ab(v). Given that it has not been recorded for nearly 120 years (this species has a distinct colour pattern and is very recognisable), it is considered Possibly Extinct.
|Date last seen:
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
- 2009 – Data Deficient (DD)
|Range Description:||The Red Sea Torpedo is endemic to the Arabian Seas region, and is known only from the southern Red Sea at Mocha, Yemen (Steindachner 1898, Carvalho et al. 2002). While Carvalho et al. (2002) suggests that a photo provided from the Sudanese Red Sea is thought to be of the Red Sea Torpedo, the photo evidence is not convincing and the species is here considered to be known only off Yemen.|
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:|
Indian Ocean – western
|♦ Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):||Unknown||♦ Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:||99|
|♦ Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):||Unknown||♦ Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):||Unknown|
|♦ Number of Locations:||1||♦ Continuing decline in number of locations:||Unknown|
|♦ Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:||Unknown|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|