Diplobatis ommata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Narcinidae

Scientific Name: Diplobatis ommata (Jordan & Gilbert, 1890)
Common Name(s):
English Bullseye Electric Ray, Ocellated Electric Ray
French Raie Électrique Ocellée
Spanish Raya Eléctrica De Ocelo, Raya Eléctrica Diana, Raya Eléctrica Ocelada
Diplobatus ommata (Jordan & Gilbert, 1890)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bd+3bd+4bd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Needs updating
Assessor(s): de Carvalho, M.R., McCord, M.E. & Bizzarro, J.J.
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S.L. & Kyne, P.M. (Shark Red List Authority)
This electric ray has a restricted distribution in shallow water within a heavily trawled area. It is taken as bycatch in shrimp fisheries and although it is not utilized it may appear incidentally in markets. The genus Diplobatis has been shown to have a 27.5% occurrence in the captures of the offshore trawl fishery operating off the Caribbean coast of northern Colombia. There is little information available on this species, however its restricted regional distribution indicates that it is threatened by high levels of incidental fishing mortality, furthermore due to identification difficulties the catch rate is likely to be under-recorded, and therefore it may be more heavily fished than currently thought. As a result this species is assessed as Vulnerable, given its relatively restricted distribution in the areas where there is intensive trawling pressure.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Eastern Central Pacific, from Baja California to the mid-Colombian coast. Countries of occurrence include: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, USA (Baja, California) (Love et al. 2005).

From Bahia San Juanico (26°13'N, 112°28'W), southern Baja California (de La Cruz Agüero et al. 1994), to Ecuador (Bearez 1996), including the Gulf of California (McEachran 1995).
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is common over sandy substrates, but also over rocky bottoms, in bays and on rock reefs (De la Cruz Agüero et al. 1997, Allen and Robertson 1994 and Michael 1993). It reportedly lies partially buried in the sand, near rock reefs (Thomson et al. 2000).

Love et al. (2005) lists 3 m as the shallowest occurrence from an LA County Museum specimen (LACM 49744.002), while Beebe and Tee-Van (1941) report it from 1 fathom (ca. 2 m). The deepest occurrence was 94 m, as reported by A. Linares (1996 cited in Love et al. 2005).

This guitarfish is typically a solitary species, which is inactive during the day and commonly occurs in shallower water at night, utilizing its pelvic fins for benthic locomotion (Beebe and Tee-Van 1941, Michael 1993).

The maximum reported size for this species, is 25 TL (McEachran 1995), with the first size at maturity for females <18.5 cm (Beebe and Tee-Van 1941). The size at first maturity for males is unknown.

Based on a small sample size, it is known to prey on crustaceans [Amphipoda, Decapoda (small shrimp)] and polychaetes (Beebe and Tee-Van 1941).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Within Mexican waters, this species is not commonly taken by artisanal fisheries, however it is taken as bycatch by shrimp trawlers (Bizzarro pers. comm. Feb 2006). This species itself is not of commercial interest; however its restricted range coincides with that of intense trawling pressure for shrimp. This considerable pressure from large commercial fishing fleets is likely to go unrecorded as this species caught as unused bycatch.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Improved monitoring of bycatch and other fishery impacts required in order to develop appropriate conservation and management strategies for this and other affected bycatch species.

Further research is one of the most pressing issues, in order to learn more about this species' biology and quantify its contribution to shrimp bycatch. This will require species-specific identification or independent sampling. At present there is not enough known to substantiate an estimate on this species population status and quantify the actual impact of perceived threats (Bizzarro pers. comm. Feb 2006).

Classifications [top]

10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)

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    

0. Root -> 100.1. OLD 1.1.1-Policy-base actions->Management plans->Development
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
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]

Béarez, P. 1996. Lista de los peces marinos del Ecuador continental. Revista de Biología Tropical 44: 731-741.

Beebe W. and Tee-Van, J. 1941. Fishes from the Tropical eastern Pacific. Part 3: Rays, mantas and Chimaeras. Zoologica 26: 245-280.

de la Cruz-Agüero, J., Galvan-Magaña, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J. and Gutiérrez-Sánchez, F.J. 1994. Lista sistematica de los peces marinos de Bahía Magdalena, Baja California Sur (México). [Systematic list of marine fishes from Bahia Magdalena, Baja California Sur (Mexico)]. Ciencias Marinas 20(1):17–31.

De la Cruz-Agüero, J., Martínez, M.A., Cota-Gómez, V.M. and De La Cruz-Agüero, G. 1997. Catalogo de los peces marinos de Baja California sur. Centro Interdiscipinario de CienciasMarinas.

Fechhelm, J.D. and McEacharn, J.D. 1984. A revision of the electric ray genus Diplobatis with notes on the interrelationships of Narcinidae (Chondrichthyes, Torpediniformes). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 29(5): 171–209.

IUCN. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A. and Thorsteinson, L.K. 2005. Resource inventory of marine and estuarine fishes of the west coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Seattle, WA.

McEachran, J.D. and Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G. 1995. Peces Batoideos. In: W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds). Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies para los Fines de la Pesca Centro Oriental: Parte 1 – Vertebrados. pp: 745–792. FAO, Rome.

Michael, S.W. 1993. Reef sharks and rays of the world. A guide to their identification, behavior and ecology. Sea Challengers, Monterey, California.

Nelson, J.S., Crossman, E.J., Espinosa-Pérez, H., Findley, L.T., Gilbert, C.R., Lea, R.N. and Williams, J.D. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Citation: de Carvalho, M.R., McCord, M.E. & Bizzarro, J.J. 2006. Diplobatis ommata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T61403A12471646. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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