Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Occurs in marshy zones where it is frequently found partially hidden in the sandy bottom. This behavior, associated with its perfect immobility and its capacity to undergo homochromy, makes it practically undetectable to the eye. Like all species of this family, P. hystrix has a tail which is equipped with one or more spines which fall spontaneously and are replaced 2 or 3 times a year. At a length of 4 to 6 cm, the spine is a barbed, flattened skeletal formation inserted dorsally in the middle portion of the tail. Its structure is similar to that of a tooth and appears as an ivory cone covered with enamel. The spine is coated with an extremely toxic mucus produced by the cells of the skin and inflicts very painful wounds (Ref. 27188).
  • Compagno, L.J.V. 1999 Checklist of living elasmobranchs. p. 471-498. In W.C. Hamlett (ed.) Sharks, skates, and rays: the biology of elasmobranch fishes. John Hopkins University Press, Maryland. (Ref. 35766)
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Distribution

South America: Paraná-Paraguay River basin.
  • de Carvalho, M.R., N. Lovejoy and R.S. Rosa 2003 Potamotrygonidae (River stingrays). p. 22-28. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 36687)
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Parana-Paraguay River basin, South America.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 400 mm WD
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Max. size

40.0 cm WD (male/unsexed; (Ref. 27188)); max. published weight: 15.0 kg (Ref. 27548)
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; dH range: 10
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Migration

Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Diseases and Parasites

Terranova Infection 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Moravec, F. 1998 Nematodes of freshwater fishes of the neotropical region. 464 p. Praha, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. (Ref. 51153)
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Echinocephalus Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Moravec, F. 1998 Nematodes of freshwater fishes of the neotropical region. 464 p. Praha, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. (Ref. 51153)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Potamotrygon hystrix

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Potamotrygon hystrix

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Data deficient (DD)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
  • Newman, L. 1995 Census of fish at the Vancouver aquarium, 1994. Unpublished manuscript. (Ref. 9183)
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Wikipedia

Porcupine river stingray

The porcupine river stingray, Potamotrygon hystrix, is a species of river stingray in the family Potamotrygonidae, the type of the Potamotrygon genus. It is found in the basins of the Paraná and Paraguay River basins in South America.[2]

Appearance[edit]

Dorsal and ventral view

Almost circular in shape, it grows up to 40 cm (16 in) in diameter and 70 cm (28 in) in length, including the tail. The upper surface is covered with denticles (sharp tooth-like scales). The coloration is light brownish with mottled patterns on the dorso, and pink on the ventral side. As with all stingrays, the mouth and gill openings are on the underside, and the eyes and gills exits are on the dorsal side.

Sting[edit]

Like other stingrays, the fish of this genus have venomous barbs at the base of their tails, and are dangerous to humans.[3][4] The sting is replaced at roughly six-month intervals. It is an almost flat, barbed structure that can reach 6 cm (2.4 in) in length, and is covered with a toxic mucus, making any attack a very painful one.[5]

The natives of South America are said to fear the stingray more than the piranha.[6] However, they are not aggressive fish and not dangerous unless stepped on or otherwise threatened.

Aquarium[edit]

P. hystrix, male (left) and female (right). Notice the two claspers on the male

Freshwater stingrays of the genus Potamotrygon are sometimes kept as exotic aquarium fish; though freshwater stingray of other genera do appear in the trade, most are from this genus. They are best kept with a deep, sandy substrate, in which they bury themselves, often with only their eyes visible. They are not territorial with other animals and can be kept in groups, provided a large enough aquarium is provided. They are carnivorous bottom-feeders and require strong filtration as they are rather sensitive to water conditions (any spike in NO2 levels can kill them with no warning).[3]

Like many species of stingrays, P. hystrix has been bred in captivity, but they require a large tank. The male should be smaller than the female, as it is rather aggressive, biting the female during the mating process.[7] Males can be determined by the presence of claspers as in other chondrichthyans.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Soto, J.M.R., P. Charvet-Almeida and M. Pinto de Almeida (2003). Potamotrygon hystrix. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved November 16, 2009.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2009). "Potamotrygon hystrix" in FishBase. 11 2009 version.
  3. ^ a b Dawes, John (2001). Complete Encyclopedia of the Freshwater Aquarium. New York: Firefly Books Ltd. ISBN 1-55297-544-4. .
  4. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2011). Species of Potamotrygon in FishBase. June 2011 version.
  5. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Potamotrygon hystrix" in FishBase. 08 2012 version.
  6. ^ Axelrod, Herbert, R. (1996). Exotic Tropical Fishes. T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-87666-543-1. 
  7. ^ "Breeding of the raspy river stingray Potamotrygon scobina". 2003. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Des reproductions régulières en aquarium". Véronique Ivanov. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 


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