Overview

Comprehensive Description

Taeniura grabata (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

This species was observed during a dive at Diogo Vaz, SãoTomé , in about 15 m depth and photographed by P. Vasconcelos near Rolas Island and by J. L. Testori at Pedra da Galé , Príncipe .

  • Peter Wirtz, Carlos Eduardo L. Ferreira, Sergio R. Floeter, Ronald Fricke, Joao Luiz Gasparini, Tomio Iwamoto, Luiz Rocha, Claudio L. S. Sampaio, Ulrich K. Schliewen (2007): Coastal Fishes of Sao Tome and Principe islands, Gulf of Guinea (Eastern Atlantic Ocean) - an update. Zootaxa 1523, 1-48: 4-4, URL:http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:2202520B-A3E7-492D-A932-14463CD6DAF9
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Biology

A neritic, coastal species (Ref. 27000). Generally found on sand and rock-sand bottoms (Ref. 6808). Partially covered with sand or mud. Feeds on bottom-living fishes and crustaceans. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449).
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Distribution

Range Description

Eastern central and southeast Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Western Indian Ocean: Mediterranean Sea (Serena 2005), eastern Atlantic southward from Cape Verde Island to Senegal and Angola (Whitehead et al. 1984) and the Indian Ocean (the Red Sea). The species is mostly known from the southern shores of the Mediterranean, with a single record from the northern Mediterranean (Tuscany: Serena et al. 1999), and one from Turkey (Basusta et al. 1998).

FAO Fisheries areas: 27, 34, 47, 51.
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Eastern Atlantic: Canary Islands (Ref. 6808) and Mauritania to Angola, including Cape Verde. Also in the Mediterranean, from Tunisia to Egypt. Western Indian Ocean: Red Sea.
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Mediterranean Sea, eastern Atlantic: Madeira and Canary Islands to Angola.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 2500 mm TL
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Max. size

250 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4438)); max. published weight: 84.0 kg (Ref. 40637)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Benthic on soft bottoms, generally in shallow tropical or warm temperate waters, from shallow waters up to 100 m depth. Maximum size reported to be 100 cm disc width (DW) and 150 cm total length (TL) (Bauchot 1987, Serena 2005).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 10 - 300 m (Ref. 6808)
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Depth range based on 7 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 10 - 31

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 10 - 31
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 10 - 300m.
From 10 to 300 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Trophic Strategy

A neritic, coastal species. Generally found on sand and rock-sand bottoms. Partially covered with sand or mud. Feeds on bottom-living fishes and crustaceans.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Serena, F., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. & Mancusi, C.

Reviewer/s
Cavanagh, R.D., Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
This demersal ray is reported from a wide range in the Mediterranean Sea, eastern Atlantic and Red Sea in the western Indian Ocean. Very little is known of its biology. The Round Fantail Stingray (Taeniura grabata) is vulnerable to capture in demersal trawl and trammel net fisheries, although no specific information is currently available on its capture. At present insufficient information is available to assess the species beyond Data Deficient and this assessment should be revisited as soon as information becomes available.
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Population

Population
No information is currently available regarding past or present abundance.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is vulnerable to capture in demersal trawl and trammel net fisheries, although no specific information is currently available on its capture.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None in effect at this time. Research is required on abundance, range, population trends, life-history, threats and capture in fisheries.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial
  • Schneider, W. 1990 FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Field guide to the commercial marine resources of the Gulf of Guinea. Prepared and published with the support of the FAO Regional Office for Africa. Rome: FAO. 268 p.   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=2683 External link.
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Wikipedia

Round fantail stingray

Not to be confused with Urobatis halleri, also known as the round stingray.

The round fantail stingray or round stingray (Taeniura grabata) is a poorly known species of stingray in the family Dasyatidae. It inhabits sandy, muddy, or rocky coastal habitats in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the southern Mediterranean Sea. This dark-colored ray typically reaches a width of 1 m (3.3 ft), and can be identified by its nearly circular pectoral fin disk, short tail, and mostly bare skin. The round fantail stingray hunts for fishes and crustaceans on the sea floor, and exhibits an aplacental viviparous mode of reproduction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) does not yet have sufficient information to assess the conservation status of this species.

Taxonomy[edit]

French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire originally described the round fantail stingray in 1817 as Trygon grabatus, from the Latin grabatus meaning "bed".[2][3] His account was published in the first volume of the folio Poissons du Nil, de la mer Rouge et de la Méditerranée. Subsequent authors moved this species to the genus Taeniura. No type specimens are known.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

A round fantail stingray off Tenerife in the Canary Islands

The round fantail stingray is found in the tropical to subtropical waters of the eastern Atlantic from Mauritania to Angola, as well as off the Canary Islands, Madeira, and Cape Verde.[4][5] This species has also recently colonized the southern Mediterranean Sea, where it is now occasionally sighted from Tunisia to Egypt, with isolated records from off Turkey and Tuscany, Italy.[6][7] However, it is not one of the many Lessepsian migrants,[8] and reports of this species being present in the Red Sea may be erroneous.[1][6] Found at depths of 10–300 m (33–984 ft), the round fantail stingray favors coastal sandy, muddy, or rocky areas.[4]

Description[edit]

The round fantail stingray has a nearly circular pectoral fin disk slightly wider than long. The tail measures no longer than the disk length and bears one or more stinging spines on the upper surface.[9] The spines average 50 mm (2.0 in) long in males and 66 mm (2.6 in) in females, and have a central groove and 29–45 lateral serrations. Replacement spines grow in front of the primary spine.[10] There is a deep fin fold running beneath the tail from the level of the spine almost to the tip. The skin is mostly smooth, save for small dermal denticles found along the middle of the back from the spiracles to the tail spine, as well as three thorns on the "shoulders". The coloration is dark gray to brown to olive above, with various darker mottling, and off-white below.[9] This species typically grows up to 1 m (3.3 ft) across and 1.5 m (4.9 ft) long,[1] though it has been reported to a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft).[4] It can weigh as much as 150 kg (330 lb).[11]

Biology and ecology[edit]

The eye of a round fantail stingray, with the large spiracle behind

Little is known of the natural history of the round fantail stingray.[1] A predator of bottom-dwelling crustaceans and fishes, during the day this species can often be found partially buried in sediment, under ledges, or lying in the open spaces between reefs.[4][12] Known parasites of the round fantail stingray include the monogeneans Dendromonocotyle taeniurae and Neoentobdella apiocolpos, which infest the skin,[13] and Heterocotyle forcifera, H. mokhtarae, and H. striata, which infest the gills,[14] and the tapeworm Rhinebothrium monodi, which infests the spiral valve intestine.[15] It has been observed being attended to by the cleaner shrimp Hippolysmata grabhami.[12] Like other stingrays, this species is aplacental viviparous.[4]

Human interactions[edit]

Potential threats to the round fantail stingray are commercial fisheries utilizing bottom trawls and trammel nets, but no specific data on utilization or population impact are available. Therefore, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this species as Data Deficient.[1] It has been observed sheltering near artificial reefs in the Canary Islands.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Serena, F., G. Notarbartolo di Sciara and C. Mancusi (2003). Taeniura grabata. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Catalog of Fishes (Online Version). California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved on November 14, 2009.
  3. ^ Brown, R.W. (1978). Composition of Scientific Words: A Manual of Methods and a Lexicon of Materials for the Practice of Logotechnics. Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-87474-286-2. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2009). "Taeniura grabata" in FishBase. November 2009 version.
  5. ^ Biscoito, M.J. and P. Wirtz (1994). "Two new records of stingrays (Pisces: Dasyatidae) from the Archipelago of Madeira (NE Atlantic)". Bocagiana (Funchal) 0 (169): 1–4. 
  6. ^ a b Serena, F. (2005). Field Identification Guide to the Sharks and Rays of the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. p. 70. ISBN 92-5-105291-3. 
  7. ^ Serena, F., R. Silvestri and A. Voliani (1999). "Incidental capture of Taeniura grabata (E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817) (Chondrichthyes, Dasyatidae)". Biologia Marina Mediterranea 6 (1): 617–618. 
  8. ^ Bilecenoglu, M., E. Taskavak and K.B. Kunt (2002). "Range extension of three lessepsian migrant fish (Fistularia commersoni, Sphyraena flavicauda, Lagocephalus suezensis) in the Mediterranean Sea". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 82: 525–526. doi:10.1017/s0025315402005829. 
  9. ^ a b McEachran, J.D. and C. Capape (1989). "Dasyatidae". In Whitehead, P.J.P. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean (Vol. 1). UNESCO. pp. 197–202. ISBN 92-3-002308-6. 
  10. ^ Schwartz, F.J. (July 2005). "Tail spine characteristics of stingrays (order Myliobatiformes) found in the northeast Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas". Electronic Journal of Ichthyology 1 (1): 1–9. 
  11. ^ Francis, W. (1968). "Report on the Guinean Trawling Survey, Volume 1". NODC general series, OAU/STRC publication 99.
  12. ^ a b c Jensen, A., K.J. Collins and A.P.M. Lockwood (2000). Artificial Reefs in European Seas. Springer. p. 245. ISBN 0-7923-6144-X. 
  13. ^ Euzet, L. and C. Maillard (1967). "Parasites de poissons de mer ouestafricains, recoltes par J. Cadenat. 6. Monogenes de Selaciens". Bulletin de l'Institut fondamental d'Afrique noire A 29: 1435–1493. 
  14. ^ Neifar, L., L. Euzet and O.K. Ben Hassine (1999). "Three new Heterocotyle (Monogenea, Monocotylidae) gill parasites of Taeniura grabata (Euselachii, Dasyatidae) from Tunisia". Zoosystema 21 (2): 157–170. 
  15. ^ Euzet, L. (1954). "Parasites de poissons de mer ouest africains recoltes par J. Cadenat. 1. Cestodes Tetraphyllides de Selaciens". Bulletin de l'Institut fondamental d'Afrique noire A 16: 126–138. 
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