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Torpedo fuscomaculata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES TORPEDINIDAE

Scientific Name: Torpedo fuscomaculata
Species Authority: Peters, 1855
Common Name(s):
English Blackspotted Torpedo
French Raie Trembleur
Taxonomic Notes: There are apparently many undescribed species of Torpedo ray in the Western Indian Ocean. Taxonomic resolution of this group may prove that distributions of this group, including T. fuscomaculata, are in fact very restricted (Compagno and Human 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Pheeha, S. (SSG Subequatorial Africa Regional Workshop, September 2003)
Reviewer(s): Human, B., Cavanagh, R.D., Kyne, P.M. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Very little is known about this electric ray, endemic to the southern Africa (and possibly smaller Indian Ocean island). Occurs from the intertidal zone down to 439 m depth. Although it appears frequently in scientific trawl surveys, it has never been studied. This species is caught as bycatch by inshore trawlers and anglers, and found in estuarine and intertidal zones, so likely to be affected by coastal developments. Monitoring, abundance estimates and collection of basic biological data is urgently needed, and this species may prove to have a more restricted range when the taxonomy of this genus is further resolved.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Currently recorded from South Africa, east of Cape Algulhas, and ranging eastwards and northwards into at least southern Mozambique. It is also reported from many Western Indian Ocean islands, however, these records are likely to be of undescribed similar species (Compagno et al. 1989, Compagno and Human 2003).
Countries:
Native:
Mozambique; South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Apparently common.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits estuaries and the intertidal zone down to 439 m, also found in sandy areas near deep rocky reefs. Grows to 64 cm total length (TL). Young are born in summer (Compagno et al. 1989). There are anecdotal reports of this species penetrating inland up rivers and estuary systems that have recently increased in salinity in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. For example, this species has been positively identified in the Kariega estuary, about 2 km from the coast, with water salinity around 35 ppt (B. Human, pers.comm. 2004). The causes of the increased salinity are unknown.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Caught as bycatch by inshore trawlers and inshore anglers. Also found in estuarine and intertidal zone, so local populations might decrease due to coastal developments. Fishing pressure needs to be monitored. It is also likely that the range of this species may decrease significantly when the taxonomy of this genus is better known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Monitoring, abundance estimates and collection of basic biological data is urgently needed, as is taxonomic resolution of the group in the Western Indian.

Citation: Pheeha, S. (SSG Subequatorial Africa Regional Workshop, September 2003) 2004. Torpedo fuscomaculata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 September 2014.
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