Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Prefers shallow muddy bottoms with turbid waters (Ref. 26543). Feeds on insect larvae (Ref. 26543).
  • 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)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© FishBase

Source: FishBase

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range Description

This species is restricted to the drainages of some rivers in Northern Colombia, including Magdalena, Cauca, San Jorge, Atrato and Catatumbo rivers. It has not been registered in the Sinú River but is also found in the headwaters and throughout the rivers Tibú, el Sardinata and el Zulia (Galvis et al. 1997). The extent of occurrence is very unlikely to be extended.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range Description

South America inland waters: endemic to the Paraná and Paraguay River basins. Recorded from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (Rosa 1985, Nion et al. 2002, Carvalho et al. 2003, Araújo et al. 2004). Records from Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Ecuador, Peru and the Amazon basin probably represent misidentifications due to confusion with similar species (Rosa 1985, Carvalho et al. 2003, assessor?s pers. obs.).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

South America: Magdalena and Atrato River basins.
  • 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)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© FishBase

Source: FishBase

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Magdalena and Atrato River basins, Colombia.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© FishWise Professional

Source: FishWise Professional

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 400 mm WD
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© FishWise Professional

Source: FishWise Professional

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Max. size

35.0 cm WD (male/unsexed; (Ref. 36687))
  • 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)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© FishBase

Source: FishBase

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Very little is known about the habitat and ecology of P. magdalenae.. This species was indicated to be found in both headwaters and lower drainages of some rivers within its distribution range (Galvis et al. 1997). These same authors reported that this species prefers muddy substrates, murky and shallow waters.

The stomach contents of specimens collected from the Catatumbo River contained insect larvae stages and detritus (Galvis et al. 1997).
Most reproductive biology information available comes from a single research study carried out by Teshima and Takeshita (1992). Apart from them, only Dahl (1971), in a general study of the fish in Northern Colombia, mentioned that this species reached maturity with less than 25 cm of disc width. The information available suggests that this species reaches sexual maturity at a small disc width size and presents a low fecundity. Since most potamotrygonids present a defined reproductive period (Charvet-Almeida et al. 2005), it is possible that Teshima and Takeshita (1992) could not observe this due to the short length of their sampling period.

Systems
  • Freshwater
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
There is little information available on the life history of this species. Achenbach and Achenbach (1976) suggested that reproduction takes place in the upper portion of the Paraná River. Newborns have been observed in early summer and adults with of 30?40 cm disc width (DW) are common. The maximum weight observed is ~15 kg. Two females from the lower Paraná River (33 and 36 cm DW) contained nine and six embryos, respectively (Soto unpublished data).

Achenbach and Achenbach (1976), in general observations considering this and other species of potamotrygonids in the mid Paraná River system, indicated that neonates feed on plankton and then gradually change their diet to small molluscs, crustaceans (crabs), insect larvae, small fish and other food items.

Systems
  • Freshwater
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© FishBase

Source: FishBase

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Prefers shallow muddy bottoms with turbid waters. Feeds on insect larvae.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© FishBase

Partner Web Site: FishBase

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Charvet-Almeida, P. & Pinto de Almeida, M.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
The Magdalena Freshwater Stingray (Potamotrygon magdalenae) is small freshwater stingray (adults 19?21 cm DW) that is restricted to the Magdalenae and Atrato River basins in Northern Columbia. The biological information available indicates that it has low fecundity (2?4 pups) and feeds on insect larvae, but further data are needed on its life history. This species enters the ornamental trade and is a bycatch species in other fisheries but no other information is available. Monitoring and specific management for the ornamental trade and bycatch are recommended. Habitat maintenance and conservation are also required conservation measures. Due to its restricted range, low fecundity and threats, this species is considered to be declining in abundance and is classified as Near Threatened.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Soto, J.M.R., Charvet-Almeida, P. & Pinto de Almeida, M.

Reviewer/s
Kyne, P.M., Cavanagh, R.D. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
The Porcupine River Stingray (Potamotrygon histrix) is a small, common but poorly known freshwater stingray from the Paraná and Paraguay River basins. Its conservation status is uncertain due to the sparse life history and population data available. It probably undertakes seasonal migrations and very few pregnant females have been observed so far. It is harpooned for food and is also captured for the ornamental fish trade, especially juveniles. Habitat degradation through various human activities is probably the main threat facing this species. Further studies and a re-assessment in the near future are highly recommended.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
This species was pointed out as common in the lower portion of the Catatumbo River (Galvis et al. 1997) but no further data are available on the population of this freshwater stingray.

Population Trend
Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
There is no life history or population data for this poorly known freshwater ray. The main area of occurrence for this species is apparently the Paraná-Paraguay River confluence, where it is considered relatively abundant (Soto pers. obs.).

Achenbach and Achenbach (1976) indicate that this species is more abundant in the Paraná and Colastiné Rivers and seems to prefer ?open waters? (probably preferring to wider areas instead of small streams). Seasonal migrations (upstream of the Paraná River) have also been indicated (Achenbach and Achenbach 1976).

Population Trend
Unknown
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
There is little information regarding the threats for P. magdalenae but supposedly at least some of them are similar to ones indicated for P. yepezi, another freshwater stingray found in Colombia (Mojica et al. 2002). These same authors indicated P. magdalenae as being a vulnerable species (VU) in Colombia but no details are given concerning the criteria for the selection of this specific status.

This species is currently entering the ornamental trade (Gonella 1997, Ross and Schäfer 2000) without any specific regulation and monitoring. No information is available about how many specimens are exported and to what extent this might represent a threat for this species. Informal reports indicate that this species is also caught as bycatch in fisheries that target some bony fish of economic value in the river basins where P. magdalenae is found.

Intrinsic factors common to other elasmobranchs (Camhi et al. 1998) affect this species too and its restricted range must be taken into account.
Other threats for this species are not well know but considering the main known threats for other potamotrygonids (included the ones cited for P. yepezi by Mojica et al. 2002) it is expected that it is susceptible to water pollution of different origins (agricultural, industrial and sewage pollution mainly), mining, infrastructure development and human disturbances. As in other parts of the North region of South America, it is expected that persecution of this species also takes place.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Major Threats
This and other southern freshwater stingray species are taken as a food source and are considered to have delicious meat. They are harpooned by fishermen when sighted resting in shallow water.

There is a small amount of fishing for the more attractively patterned juveniles to supply the ornamental fish trade. This species is illegally exported from Brazil and no information is available regarding its captures for the international trade (Araújo et al. 2004).

The major threats are likely to be from habitat degradation caused by the damming of the Paraná River system for navigation and hydroelectric plants, and the construction of many ports along the river (infrastructure development). Agriculture, various kinds of water pollution, human disturbance and intrinsic factors also are considered threats for this species.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Near Threatened (NT)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© FishBase

Source: FishBase

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Base-line studies are required to acquire more information regarding the life history aspects of this species. More information about the trade is also needed in order to implement management plans, trade management and specific legislation to guarantee that catches are sustainable.

Bycatch captures should also be monitored and quantified in order to determine to what extent target (bony fish) fisheries represent a threat.

Habitat maintenance and conservation should also be considered since freshwater elasmobranchs are more susceptible to impacts due to their more restricted distribution in comparison with their marine counterparts (Araújo 1998, Charvet-Almeida 2001, Charvet-Almeida et al. 2002).

Mojica et al (2002) indicated needed for habitat protection, base-line studies and population evaluation for P. yepezi, which are probably valid recommendations for P. magdalenae.

Public awareness is desired to minimize persecution, which probably occurs (as in other places where freshwater stingrays are present).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Policy-based and research actions are required to protect this species. Habitat maintenance and conservation actions are also needed, such as creation and maintenance of protected areas. The construction of hydroelectric plants in the Paraná-Paraguay River system should be controlled. Education and public awareness of potamotrygonids is essential due to the negative image of these species. Monitoring and regulation of harvest levels and trade for ornamental purposes is also needed.

Please also refer to checklist below.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!