Zapteryx xyster


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Zapteryx xyster
Species Authority: Jordan & Evermann, 1896
Common Name(s):
English Southern Banded Guitarfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Casper, B.M., Ebert, D.A. & Kyne, P.M.
Reviewer(s): Heupel, M.R., Simpfendorfer, C.A. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
The Southern Banded Guitarfish (Zapteryx xyster) has a poorly-defined distribution in the eastern Pacific; known from Mazatlán, México to Panama and Columbia (references to the closely-related Banded Guitarfish (Zapteryx exasperata) from Ecuador and Perú are probably attributable to the Southern Banded Guitarfish). It replaces the Banded Guitarfish, which is more common in the Gulf of California and along the Pacific coast of Baja California, México. Very little information is available on this species and there is a general absence of life-history data. Assumed as a probable bycatch, similar to other species of guitarfish, but details are unknown. Research needs to better define the species’ range, obtain information on biology and ascertain interactions with fisheries. Due to a lack of available information it is currently assessed as Data Deficient.
2006 Data Deficient (IUCN 2006)
2006 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern central and southeast Pacific: poorly-defined distribution; known from Mazatlán, México southwards to at least Panama and Columbia, and probably Ecuador and Perú.

Examination of specimens previously identified as Z. exasperata from Colombia has shown these to be Z. xyster (D.A. Ebert unpubl. data). References to the occurrence of the closely-related Z. exasperata south to Caleta la Cruz, Perú (i.e. Chirichigno and Vélez (1998) for Perú, and Béarez (1996) for Ecuador) may in fact represent records of Z. xyster. Indeed, Ebert (2003) questions the occurrence of Z. exasperata south of Mazatlán, México (23.15°N), noting possible confusion with Z. xyster, which is a more tropically distributed species. The Mazatlán area is a major faunal break region, and to date, Zapteryx specimens examined from north of Mazatlán have been attributable to Z. exasperata and those from south of Mazatlán (to Colombia) to Z. xyster (D.A. Ebert unpubl. data). As such, Z. exasperata is not treated in this report.
Colombia; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Mexico; Nicaragua (Nicaragua (mainland)); Panama
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The habitat, biology and ecology of this tropical species are very poorly known. Occurs inshore to depths of at least 90m (considerably deeper than the closely-related Z. exasperata) (D.A. Ebert unpubl. data). It is possibly associated with reefs. Males are adult at 50.5cm TL and the smallest free-swimming specimens have measured 17.5–17.8cm TL (D.A. Ebert unpubl. data). Like other rhinobatids is apacental yolksac viviparous, but details of reproduction are lacking.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Probable bycatch from bottom trawls and gillnet fisheries, but no data available. The benthic nature and usual inshore occurrence of rhinobatid rays make them susceptible to capture in a variety of fishing gear (trawl net, line, seine net, gillnet etc.) and these rays often form a large component of catches. Rhinobatids are consistently landed in México, where they are the most important component of directed artisanal elasmobranch landings.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Research required to identify its importance in fisheries and to provide information on life-history.

Citation: Casper, B.M., Ebert, D.A. & Kyne, P.M. 2009. Zapteryx xyster. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 29 November 2014.
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