|Scientific Name:||Urobatis maculatus|
|Species Authority:||Garman, 1913|
|Taxonomic Notes:||This may not be a valid species but rather a synonym of Urobatis concentricus (which may in turn be a synonym of U. halleri). This situation is currently under investigation (J. McEachran pers. comm.).
The species was originally placed in the genus Urolophus, but was later moved by Garman (1913) into his newly erected genus Urobatis, which included all eastern Pacific and western North Atlantic round stingrays. The genus Urolophus is restricted to the stingarees found in the Indo-West Pacific. Both genera are frequently seen in the literature for eastern Pacific forms, but current research suggests that Urobatis is the correct genus (Ebert 2003). Urobatis is sometimes placed in the family Urolophidae, however this placement is incorrect and the family Urotrygonidae is valid (McEachran et al. 1996).
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Data Deficient ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L., Compagno, L.J.V. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)|
A small (to 26 cm disc width) inshore batoid restricted to Mexico, with a limited known distribution. Almost nothing is known about the biology or abundance of this species and its taxonomic status is also unclear, as it may be a synonym (color-morph) of U. concentricus (which may in turn be a synonym of Urobatis halleri; J. McEachran pers. comm.). Urobatis maculates is reportedly taken in bottom-set nets and with spears (McEachran and Notarbartolo di Sciara 1995), but spearing is extremely uncommon (Bizzarro, pers. obs.). This species is also likely taken incidentally by shrimp trawlers, but the extent of this practice is not well known and no species-specific information is documented. Artisanal and commercial fisheries in Mexico do not typically utilize urobatid rays due to their small size and when they are caught they are not typically retained. However, the tail is usually cleaved off before it is returned to the sea, which may result in high mortality of discards (Bizzarro, pers. obs). Despite these potential threats and restricted range, due to the lack of available information and taxonomic issues this species is considered Data Deficient at the present time. Its conservation status will need to be reassessed when these issues are better resolved.
|Range Description:||Restricted to the Mexican Pacific, ranging from Lagunas Ojo de Liebre-Guerrero Negro, central Baja California (de la Cruz Agüero et al. 1996), through the Gulf of California (McEachran and Notarbartolo di Sciara 1995).|
Native:Mexico (Baja California, Baja California Sur)
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:||
Pacific – eastern central
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||No information on the abundance, population size, or degree of fragmentation of this species is known from its range.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||
Extremely limited biological or life history information is available for this species, if it is indeed valid. It occurs benthically in coastal waters, especially in sheltered areas near islands and in bays, lagoons, and estuaries. Maximum size is 25.7 cm DW (McEachran and Notarbartolo di Sciara 1995).
Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total length cm): Unknown.
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (disc width/total length): 25.7 cm DW, 42 cm TL (McEachran and Notarbartolo di Sciara 1995).
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Unknown.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.
|Major Threat(s):||No directed commercial or artisanal fisheries. Artisanal or commercial fisheries in Mexico do not typically utilize urotrygonid rays as their small size generally precludes their sale as a viable food item for market purposes. Urobatis maculates is reportedly taken in bottomset nets and with spears (McEachran and Notarbartolo di Sciara 1995), but spearing is extremely uncommon (Bizzarro pers. obs.). It is captured in bottomset gillnets but not typically retained. When it is caught, the tail is usually severed before it is returned to the sea, which may result in high mortality of discards (Bizzarro pers. obs.). This species is also likely taken incidentally by shrimp trawlers, but the extent of this practice is not well known and no species-specific information is documented.|
There are no conservation measures in place for this species throughout its range.
The development and implementation of a management plan (under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA-Sharks) is required to facilitate the conservation and sustainable management of all chondrichthyan species in Mexico. At the time of writing, Mexico had developed a National Plan of Action (NPOA) but implementation has been blocked by industry (Anonymous 2004).
|Citation:||Bizzarro, J.J. 2006. Urobatis maculatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.|
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