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[[ Genus Torpedo Dumeril ]]


The genus Torpedo Dumeril , 1806 , consists of 21 valid species, two dubious species, and possibly three undescribed species (Compagno, 2005). Two subgenera are generally recognized, Torpedo Dumeril , 1806 and Tetronarce Gill, 1862 . The subgenus Tetronarce , with 10 valid species, can be distinguished from Torpedo by the absence of papillae around the spiracles and a uniformly drab, often dark brown to purplish-black dorsal coloration (Fraser-Brunner, 1949; Stehmann & Bürkel , 1984; Carvalho et al., 2002). In addition, the Tetronarce tend to occur primarily on continental slopes and around oceanic islands (Compagno, 2005). Those members of the subgenus Torpedo , by contrast, have papillae around the spiracles, are often ornately colored on their dorsal surface, and are usually found on continental shelves (Carvalho et al., 2002).

In the western North Pacific, only a single species, Torpedo tokionis (Tanaka, 1908) , of the subgenus Tetronarce , is recognized (Jordan et al., 1913; Masuda et al., 1984). A second species, often referred to as T. nobiliana Bonaparte, 1835 ZBK , has on occasion been cited as occurring in Taiwanese waters (Chen & Chung, 1971; Chen & Joung, 1993; Chiu, 1994; Huang, 2001). However, the taxonomic distinction between these two species, or whether two species even occur in Taiwanese waters, has never been clearly documented. During a survey of the chondrichthyan fauna along the Taiwanese coast in 1988 and 2005, two species of the subgenus Tetronarce were collected by D.A. Ebert at a fish market in northeastern Taiwan. This material, now deposited in the ichthyological collection at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), appears to represent two distinct Torpedo species, T. tokionis , and a new species described below.


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