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Taeniura grabata

Taeniura grabata (*)

Superregnum : Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Classis: Chondrichthyes
Subclassis: Elasmobranchii
Infraclassis: Euselachii
Division/Cohort: Neoselachii
Subdivision/Subcohort: Batoidea
Superordo: Batomorphii
Ordo: Myliobatiformes
Subordo: Myliobatoidei
Superfamilia: Dasyatoidea

Familia: Dasyatidae
Subfamilia: Dasyatinae
Genus: Taeniurops
Species: Taeniurops grabatus

Taeniurops grabatus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)


Trygon grabatus Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 1817: no page number, Pl. 25 (figs. 1-2) [original designation]

Vernacular names
English: Round Fantail 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.


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

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 (33–980 ft), the round fantail stingray favors coastal sandy, muddy, or rocky areas.[4]


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

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] the trematodes 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

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]


1. ^ a b c d e Serena, F., G. Notarbartolo di Sciara and C. Mancusi (2003). Taeniura grabata. In: IUCN 2003. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 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 0874742862.
4. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, 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 9251052913.
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.
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 9230023086.
10. ^ Schwartz, F.J. (July 2005). Tail spine characteristics of stingrays (order Myliobatiformes) found in the northeast Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas. 1. pp. 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). Springer. p. 245. ISBN 079236144X.
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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