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Urotrygon aspidura

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES UROTRYGONIDAE

Scientific Name: Urotrygon aspidura
Species Authority: (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)
Common Name/s:
English Spiny-tail Round Ray
French Raie Ronde à Queue Épineuse
Spanish Raya Redonda de Rabo Espinudo
Synonym/s:
Urolophus aspidurus Jordan & Gilbert, 1882

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor/s: Valenti, S.V. & Robertson, R.
Reviewer/s: Kyne, P.M. & Gibson, C.G. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Spiny-tail Round Ray (Urotrygon aspidura) is a poorly known stingray found in the eastern Pacific, from southern Baja California to Peru, at depths of 5?100 m. Attains 42.1 cm total length, but little else is known about its biology. This species is locally common from Panama to El Salvador. It is taken as bycatch of shrimp trawl fisheries, which are extensive in inshore waters throughout its range, although specific catch details are not available. At present insufficient information is available on catch levels, threats and the life history parameters of this species to assess it beyond Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern central and southeast Pacific: southern Baja and the Gulf of California (Mexico) to Panama (R. Robertson pers. obs. 2007), and from Ecuador (Béarez 1996) and Peru (M. Love pers. comm.).

Members of the genus Urotrygon are prone to misidentification and as such the occurrence of this species is not well defined.
Countries:
Native:
Colombia; Costa Rica (Costa Rica (mainland)); Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Mexico (Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo); Nicaragua (Nicaragua (mainland)); Panama; Peru
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Locally common from Panama to El Salvador (R. Robertson pers. obs. 2007).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A benthic species found in coastal waters over soft bottoms at depths of 5 to 100 m (M. Love pers. comm. via J.D. McEachran, R. Robertson pers. obs. 2007). The largest recorded size for this species was a male specimen measuring 42.1 cm total length (McEachran 1995). Life-history is poorly known and no other biological data are available.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Trawl fisheries targeting shrimp and demersal fish operate along the Pacific coast of Central America (Cailliet and Camhi 2005). No specific information is available on catches, but this species is taken as bycatch of these fisheries throughout much of its geographic range. Inshore fishing pressure in this area is generally intense, although this species? depth range extends to 100 m, deeper than other Urotrygon species in this region.

Coastal fisheries of Costa Rica are often fished to maximum capacity or over-fished, as in the case of the Pacific shrimp fishery (FAO 2007). Although stingrays used to be discarded by fishermen because they are dangerous on the deck of fishing vessels, most large individuals are probably now retained and utilised (R. Robertson pers. comm. 2007).

Urotrygon species are also taken as bycatch in inshore artisanal fisheries in Peru (Bonfil et al. 2005) and probably elsewhere in Pacific South America, where fishing pressure on the inshore environment is significant and generally unregulated.

Most Central American countries have not kept detailed records for reporting catches internally or to the FAO, but instead list sharks and rays within a larger category termed ?marine fishes, nei?, where nei stands for ?not explicitly identified? (Cailliet and Camhi 2005). This limits the available information to assess catches of this and other inshore elasmobranch species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures in place for this species.

Further research into catch levels, threats and life-history parameters is required.
Citation: Valenti, S.V. & Robertson, R. 2009. Urotrygon aspidura. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 April 2014.
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