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Torpedo marmorata

Risso, 1810

Spotted torpedo

Classification
Identification
Biology
Distribution
Links
Bibliography

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Classification   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Latin name : Torpedo marmorata (Risso, 1810)
Synonyms :
Classification : Chondrichthyes ( Cartilaginous fishes, sharks, rays )
 
Name : Torpille marbrée
Trembleuse
Raie torpille
Name : Spotted torpedo
Marbled electric ray
Identification   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Main identification characters
The marbled electric ray has a rounded,disc-like body with smooth skin and a short, thick tail with a large tail fin. The two dorsal fins are located on the tail, they are almost equal in size and are close together.

The upper surface is pale brown with darker brown mottling and the underside is creamy-white. The marbled electric ray can reach a maximum length of 100cm.
Possible confusions
The other electric ray is Torpedo nobiliana. The two species are easily distinguished by their coloration which is marbled pale and dark brown in the marbled electric ray and dark greyish-blue to brown in Torpedo nobiliana.
Biology   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Feed
It feeds by catching bottom-living fish and stunning or killing them with an electric shock before eating them. Also feed of crustaceans and cephalopods (rarely).
Cycle of life / Reproduction
Females outlive males; viviparous, neonates measuring 10-14 cm at birth.

Electrocytes start developing when the embryo weighs about 1 g; electric organs functional before birth and newborns can use their electric organ discharge (EOD) in capturing prey.

Can produce electric discharges of up to 200 volts; EOD frequency up to 600 Hz. Jumps on fast-moving prey, paralyzing it with its EOD.
Interaction with other species
Feel free to update this datasheet and complete this data.
Distribution   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Habitat

Rocks

Sand
Occurs in seagrass areas, rocky reefs, and adjacent soft bottoms (sandy or muddy seabeds).

The marbled electric ray is usually found on at depths between 10-30m although in the Mediterranean it has been recorded at depths down to 500m.

Avoids temperatures above 20°C. Nocturnal, usually burying itself during the day with only the eyes and spiracle jutting out.
Geographical distribution
Eastern Atlantic: France, northern UK to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Also in the Mediterranean Sea.
Links   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Websites :
http://nephi.unice.fr/Medifaune/HTM/ra/ESP/F/f2329.htm
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/christian.coudre/1870.html
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/gonzales.manuel/textes/torpille.html
http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Torpedo&s [...]
http://www.mer-littoral.org/34/torpedo-marmorata.php
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/marinelife/pisces/tormar.htm

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Bibliography   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
N/A
Data sheet written by Christophe Naslain , 30/04/2003

Updates :
Christophe Naslain - 30/04/2003
Christophe Naslain - 05/11/2003


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