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Dasyatis rudis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES DASYATIDAE

Scientific Name: Dasyatis rudis
Species Authority: (Günther, 1870)
Common Name(s):
English Smalltooth Stingray
Taxonomic Notes: The status of this species is doubtful; it was briefly described by Günther from a stuffed specimen in a collection in the British Museum, but it is apparently lost (Séret, 1990) and there is no illustration available in the original description. The tail, jaws and two embryos from Sierra Leone reported by Springer and Collette (1971) were examined by Séret (1990) who found that the jaws are from a guitarfish, and that the tail and the embryos could be assigned to another stingray (Dasyatis cf. ?hastata?). As a result the species is only ?known? from its insufficient original description. Séret (1990) retained it in the list of West African stingray species in order to attract the attention of the potential observers.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Séret, B., Couzens, G. & Valenti, S.V.
Reviewer(s): Musick, J.A. & Gibson, C. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The taxonomic status of this poorly known, large (to 200 cm DW) stingray is uncertain. The Smalltooth Stingray (Dasyatis rudis) was briefly described by Günther from a stuffed specimen in the British Museum, but this type is apparently lost and there is no illustration available in the original description. Further material from Sierra Leone originally assigned to this species was subsequently assigned to other species, and as a result the Smalltooth Stingray is known only from the original description. As such, the species cannot be assessed beyond Data Deficient on the basis of taxonomic uncertainty. Efforts are required to locate the type specimen, as well as further specimens through surveys at the type locality. The type locality is subject to intensive inshore and brackish water artisanal demersal fisheries and is also at threat from habitat destruction and degradation. If valid, this species may be highly threatened by these activities.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern central Atlantic: Nigeria (Old Calabar River) (Günther 1870), record from Sierra Leone is doubtful (B. Séret pers. obs. 2008).
Countries:
Native:
Nigeria
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – eastern central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Unknown. This species is known only from the original description and the holotype is probably lost. There have been no further records to date (B. Séret pers. obs. 2008).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A large, coastal stingray reaching a maximum size of at least 320 cm TL or 200 cm DW (Capapé and Desoutter 1990). The specimen recorded off Sierra Leone was collected from a depth of 30 m (Springer and Collete 1971) and the holotype was collected from "Old Calabar" river in Nigeria. One female contained four embryos (Springer and Collette 1971).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are intensive local marine and riverine fisheries within this species' range in western Africa. Its known range is subject to inshore and brackish water artisanal demersal fisheries. Its presence in shallow waters presumably makes it accessible to a variety of artisanal fisheries. Fishing pressure in inshore and brackish waters is very high and the fisheries are considered over-exploited (FAO 2007). Habitat destruction and degradation are also major threats to this species' habitat, for example, oil pollution is a problem in brackish waters in Nigeria (FAO 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place. Efforts are required to locate the type specimen, as well as further specimens through surveys at the type locality.

Citation: Séret, B., Couzens, G. & Valenti, S.V. 2009. Dasyatis rudis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 September 2014.
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