Fontitrygon ukpam 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Myliobatiformes Dasyatidae

Scientific Name: Fontitrygon ukpam (Smith, 1863)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Pincushion Ray, Thorny Freshwater Stingray
Dasyatis ukpam (Smith 1863)
Hemitrygon ukpam Smith, 1863
Urogymnus ukpam (Smith, 1863)
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds). 2016. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 29 September 2016. Available at: (Accessed: 29 September 2016).
Taxonomic Notes: Last et al. (2016) placed Dasyatis colarensis, D. garouaensis, D. geijskesi, D. margarita, D. margaritella, and Urogymnus ukpan within their newly described genus Fontitrygon.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2005-10-03
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Compagno, L.J.V.
Reviewer(s): Musick, J.A. & Fowler, S.L.
This is an amended version of the 2005 assessment to accommodate the change in genus name. The assessment is based on the information published in the 2005 shark status survey (Fowler et al. 2005).

The Pincushion Ray (Fontitrygon ukpam) is uncommon to rare, with less than 10 specimens in museum collections, and most recently collected in any numbers from the lakes of Gabon or adjacent rivers. It is described as being abundant in the rivers of 'Old Calabar' in the nineteenth century, but its status there is uncertain at present.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:A freshwater species, occurring in rivers and lakes of West Africa: Nigeria from Old Calabar River, Gabon from Lake Ezanga and the Ogooué River system and Democratic Republic of Congo from the Congo River at Binda (Smith 1863, Compagno and Roberts 1984a,b). Also possibly from marine coastal waters of Nigeria, according to the original description (Smith 1863), but this needs verification. All modern records are from fresh water.

Subpopulation details are unknown. There could be discrete populations in different rivers, or interchange between the river systems may take place by individuals transiting in coastal marine environments.
Countries occurrence:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Gabon; Nigeria
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:There is virtually no information available on life history parameters for this species. Age at maturity, longevity, average reproductive age and generation time are all unknown. One adult female has been recorded with two foetuses, but number of litters and average annual fecundity is also unknown.
Systems:Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): All known specimens were collected by local artisanal fisheries. There are heavy local marine and riverine fisheries in West Africa with a burgeoning human population. Over-exploitation for food is, therefore, a possibility; the ray was described as being abundant in the rivers of "Old Calabar" in the nineteenth century, but it has seldom been reported since Binda (Smith 1863; Compagno and Roberts 1984a,b; Capape and Desoutter 1990). Human modification and degradation of the ray's habitat is also possibly occurring in the area as a result of population increase.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation or management initiatives are known.

Citation: Compagno, L.J.V. 2016. Fontitrygon ukpam. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T39414A104173622. . Downloaded on 22 April 2018.
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