Narcine atzi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Narcinidae

Scientific Name: Narcine atzi Carvalho & Randall, 2003
Common Name(s):
English Oman Numbfish
Taxonomic Source(s): 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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2004-09-12
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Carvalho, M.R. de & McCord, M.E.
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S.L. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
Atzi's Numbfish (Narcine atzi) is an electric ray with a very limited and patchy (albeit widespread) Indian Ocean distribution, and it has only been identified from a few collections. This species is found in shallow waters in areas that are intensively trawled, where it is taken as incidental bycatch. As Atzi's Numbfish is only known to occur in shallow water it is also likely that habitat degradation due to pollution/human interference is impacting it in parts of its range. Despite these threats, little information is currently available on the species' biology, occurrence and capture in fisheries, precluding an assessment beyond Data Deficient at present. Further investigation is required and this species should be reassessed as soon as information becomes available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Indian Ocean: known from Oman, the Gulf of Oman and from both sides of the Bay of Bengal, off Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Carvalho and Randall 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Iran, Islamic Republic of; Myanmar (Myanmar (mainland)); Oman; Sri Lanka
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):27
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Apparently very patchy within range and only very rarely recorded.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A poorly known, inshore species that has been captured to depths of at least 27 m (Carvalho and Randall 2003).Three late-term male pups were extracted from one female caught in the Gulf of Oman (Carvalho and Randall 2003). Sizes ranged from 10.3-11.3 cm TL (Carvalho and Randall 2003). One pup (10.7 cm TL) possessed remnants of the yolk stalk and sac. The size of free-swimming individuals is estimated to be close to 10.7 cm TL (Carvalho and Randall 2003). The in utero arrangement is unknown as pups were aborted upon capture. Male size at sexual maturity is unknown. Three adult females have been captured, with sizes ranging from 29.8-36.0 cm TL (Carvalho and Randall 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Intensive demersal fisheries operate across the known range of this species. Its shallow coastal habitat has been subject to repeated trawling over many years and fishing pressure is continuing. Few specimens have been studied and known specimens come from widely separated and patchy areas. Artisanal fishing pressure is intense in shallow waters of the northern Indian Ocean, for example, more than 15,022 small traditional craft (48% motorised) operate in the lagoons and coastal areas of Sri Lanka (Flewwelling and Hosch 2006). No specific information is available on catches of N. atzi, as species-specific data are not recorded, however, the high level of exploitation on its habitat is of concern. As N. atzi is only known to occur in shallow water it is also likely that habitat degradation due to pollution/human interference is impacting it in parts of its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None known.

Citation: Carvalho, M.R. de & McCord, M.E. 2009. Narcine atzi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161660A5474871. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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