Torpedinoidei (electric rays)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Batoidei > Rajiformes

These flattened, bottom-dwelling and pelagic rays have rounded expanded pectoral fins forming a broad thick disk with the head and body, and a short stout tail with a broad caudal fin and 2, 1, or no dorsal fins. All have a pair of powerful, kidney-shaped electric organs at the bases of the pectoral fins. Large individuals are capable of delivering a sudden shock of up to 220 volts. Electric rays use their `batteries' to defend themselves and to stun their prey. All are live-bearers. 4 families and 43 species, of which 2, the Torpedinidae and Narkidae, and at least 5 species occur in the area.

Families found in Southern Africa

Narcinidae (numbfishes)


Narkidae (sleeper rays)

Torpedinidae (torpedo rays)

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale

  Iziko Museums of Cape Town, 2008

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