Benthobatis yangi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Narcinidae

Scientific Name: Benthobatis yangi Carvalho, Compagno & Ebert, 2003
Common Name(s):
English Taiwanese Blind Electric Ray

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2d+4d ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Carvalho, M.R. De, McCord, M. & Ebert, D.A.
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S.L. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
This small endemic electric ray has a very limited known distribution in the waters of the outer shelf in depths of less than 300 m off southwestern Taiwan, Province of China. The Taiwanese Blind Electric Ray (Benthobatis yangi) is taken as bycatch in the local shrimp trawl fishery, which uses nets of very fine mesh, likely preventing any capture avoidance. The level of bycatch is not known, however the species is generally retained by the fishing vessels and discarded on landing. The species may also be discarded at sea. Although little information has been gathered on its biology and ecology, the high level of endemicity suggests that this species is threatened by incidental fishing mortality. Given that intense shrimp trawl fisheries operate throughout this species’ limited range, it is assessed as Vulnerable on the basis of suspected declines as a result of continuing, high levels of exploitation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Northwest Pacific. Known only from off Tungkang (22°28.0'N, 120°26.0'E), southwestern Taiwan, Province of China (Carvalho et al. 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Apparently occurs on the upper continental slope or outer shelf at depths of 300 m or less (Carvalho et al. 2003). Male Benthobatis yangi are sexually mature between 19.1 and 21.5 cm total length (TL). The smallest male paratype (16.1 cm TL) possessed undeveloped claspers which did not project beyond the pelvic fins. The largest male specimen (21.5 cm TL) possessed fully developed claspers with calcified terminal cartilage components. The 19.1 cm TL male possessed claspers that projected well beyond the pelvic fin posterior margins, but was without fully calcified terminal cartilages and appeared to be an intermediate between the smallest and largest males. A large female (25.7 cm TL) was assumed to be sexually mature due to its relatively large size (Carvalho et al. 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary threat to the Taiwanese Blind Electric Ray is shrimp trawling throughout its limited distribution, where it is taken as bycatch. Shrimp trawl fisheries operate along the southwestern coast of Taiwan Island and may range down to depths of 500 m (D. Ebert pers. obs. 2007). Fine mesh nets are used in this fishery, thus it is unlikely that the species can avoid or escape the nets, which may also be causing habitat damage.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place. More research into the status of this and other deepwater species is required in order to develop appropriate conservation and fisheries management plans.

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Carvalho, M.R. de. 1999. A systematic revision of the electric ray genus Narcine Henle, 1834 (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes: Narcinidae), and the higher-level phylogenetic relationships of the orders of elasmobranch fishes (Chondrichthyes). Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. The City University of New York.

Carvalho M.R. de, Compagno, L.J.V. and Ebert, D.A. 2003. Benthobatis yangi, a new species of blind electric ray from Taiwan (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes: Narcinidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 72(3): 923-939.

IUCN. 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2009.2). Available at: (Accessed: 3 November 2009).

Citation: Carvalho, M.R. De, McCord, M. & Ebert, D.A. 2009. Benthobatis yangi. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161624A5467169. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
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