dcsimg

Diagnostic Description

provided by Fishbase
Tail short armed with spine. Disk very broad. Very low dorsal and ventral finfolds on tail (Ref. 7251). Disk dark brown to grayish, lower surface of disc and of pelvic fins white, brownish, rosy or rusty cast. Tail white or rosy white below (Ref. 6902).
license
cc-by-nc
copyright
FishBase
Recorder
Arlene G. Sampang-Reyes
original
visit source
partner site
Fishbase

Life Cycle

provided by Fishbase
Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. 205).
license
cc-by-nc
copyright
FishBase
Recorder
Susan M. Luna
original
visit source
partner site
Fishbase

Trophic Strategy

provided by Fishbase
Feeds on fish and shrimps (Ref. 28587).
license
cc-by-nc
copyright
FishBase
Recorder
Pascualita Sa-a
original
visit source
partner site
Fishbase

Biology

provided by Fishbase
Maximum length measured is 140 cm (Ref. 5377). Occurs over sand and mud. Feeds on fishes, crustaceans, mollusks and plankton. Ovoviviparous, gestation lasting about 6 months with 4 to 7 embryos produced per female (Ref. 6676).
license
cc-by-nc
copyright
FishBase
Recorder
Rainer Froese
original
visit source
partner site
Fishbase

Importance

provided by Fishbase
fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; price category: high; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species
license
cc-by-nc
copyright
FishBase
Recorder
Rainer Froese
original
visit source
partner site
Fishbase

Spiny butterfly ray

provided by wikipedia EN

The spiny butterfly ray or giant butterfly ray (Gymnura altavela) is a species of butterfly ray, family Gymnuridae, native to the shallow coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A large ray that can measure over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) across, it may be distinguished from the sympatric smooth butterfly ray (G. micrura) by the spine at the base of its tail and by a small tentacular structure on the margin of each spiracle. Slow-reproducing and valued for its meat, in recent decades its population has experienced a decline of over 30%, and it has become Critically Endangered in certain parts of its range.[1]

Distribution and habitat

 src=
Spiny butterfly rays prefer sandy habitat

This species has a patchy and discontinuous distribution in Atlantic tropical and warm-temperate waters. In the western Atlantic it is found from Massachusetts, United States to Buenos Aires Province, Argentina; it is rare in the Gulf of Mexico and common in the mouths of tidal creeks along the Virginia coast. In the eastern Atlantic, it is found from Portugal to Ambriz, Angola, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Madeira and Canary Islands.[1] It is found in shallow brackish and coastal waters over soft sandy or muddy substrates, at a depth of 5–100 m (16–328 ft).[2] This ray is uncommon overall but can be locally abundant in suitable habitat.[1] Individuals may segregate by sex, with females usually staying in deeper water but moving inshore to breed.[3]

Description

The spiny butterfly ray has a very broad, lozenge-shaped pectoral fin disk much wider than it is long, with concave front margins and abruptly rounded corners. The snout is short and blunt. The teeth have high, conical cusps, numbering 98–138 rows in the upper jaw and 78–110 rows in the lower jaw. In both jaws there are 10–12 functional tooth rows with each dental band occupying 70% the width of the jaw. There is a tentacle-like structure on the inner posterior margin of each spiracle. The tail is short and slender, measuring a quarter the disk width, with upper and lower fin folds. There are one or more serrated spines at the base of the tail.[2][4]

The skin is naked in juveniles and subadults, while adults develop a patch of denticles on the center of the disk.[4] The coloration is dark brown above, sometimes with small lighter or darker spots and blotches in a marbled pattern, and white below. Juveniles have pale crossbars on the tail.[2] The maximum reported size is 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in) disk width in the northwest Atlantic, though there are unsubstantiated reports of rays over 4 m (13 ft) off West Africa.[1] The maximum published weight is 60 kg (130 lb).[5]

Biology and ecology

 src=
Spiny butterfly ray buried in sand

In the western Atlantic, the spiny butterfly ray feeds on fishes, including Leiognathus and small sharks, and squids. Off Tunisia, they feed on crustaceans, teleosts, cephalopods, lamellibranchs, and gastropods, in descending order of importance. Teleost fishes apparently become more important in the ray's diet with increasing size. An active predator, the ray typically approaches a prey item slowly before rapidly spinning around over it and striking the food with the leading edge of one of their pectoral fins. This behavior likely serves to stun the prey before capture, as the pectoral fins of butterfly rays contain a high proportion of red muscle and can deliver blows of substantial force.[6][7]

Potential predators of spiny butterfly rays include larger fish such as the great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), and marine mammals.[2] In the northwest Atlantic, the depletion of seven large shark species by commercial fisheries has led to an increase in the population of the spiny butterfly ray and other mid-level predators.[8] Known parasites of this species include the tapeworms Anthobothrium altavelae and Pterobothrioides petterae, and the gill parasite Heteronchocotyle gymnurae.[2][9][10]

Spiny butterfly rays are ovoviviparous and give birth to live young. They have an annual reproductive cycle with a gestation period of 4 to 9 months. The embryos initially subsist on a yolk sac; later in development long villi develop from the uterine wall into the embryos' spiracles, which direct uterine milk into the oral cavity.[11] Litter size is up to 8, depending on geographical location: 4 per litter in the Gulf of Mexico, 1–6 in the Mediterranean, up to 5 off Brazil, and up to 8 in the northwest Atlantic. Females have one functional ovary (the left) and two functional uteruses, with the embryos evenly distributed in each one. The newborns measure 38–44 cm (15–17 in) across; their size is inversely related to the number of young in each uterus.[1][7] In the eastern Atlantic, males mature at around 78 cm (31 in) across and females at 108 cm (43 in). In the western Atlantic, males mature at around 102 cm (40 in) across and females at 155 cm (61 in).[6] Females mature later than males and reach a larger size.[3]

Relationship to humans

Spiny butterfly rays are harmless to humans, though if stepped on its tail spine can cause a painful wound. It is listed as a game fish in some regions.[2] The meat of this species is highly regarded and it is caught for human consumption, except for in the waters off the United States where it is not targeted by commercial fisheries and is rarely taken as bycatch. It is assessed as Endangered by the World Conservation Union.[1]

Elsewhere in the spiny butterfly ray's range, it faces heavy fishing pressure, including in its coastal nursery areas, and has experienced marked declines. It is assessed as Critically Endangered in the southwest Atlantic, where it is taken by multispecies trawls, beach-seines, and recreational fishers. Off southern Brazil, catch rates have declined by 99% since 1982, due to fishing occurring year-round. This species is also Critically Endangered in the Mediterranean, where it is now rare or absent throughout its entire former range, especially along the southern shore such as off Sicily. The comprehensive Mediterranean International Trawl Surveys (MITS) since 1994 have failed to recover any specimens, indicating a massive decline in numbers. In West Africa, this species is assessed as Vulnerable; it is taken intentionally or incidentally by gillnets, shrimp trawls, longlines, and handlines. Reports from artisan fishers and other observers from Mauritania to Guinea have reported a severe drop in abundance, as well as decreasing median size as the adults are removed.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Dulvy, N.K., Charvet, P., Carlson, J., Badji, L., Blanco-Parra, MP, Chartrain, E., De Bruyne, G., Derrick, D., Dia, M., Doherty, P., Dossa, J., Ducrocq, M., Leurs, G.H.L., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Pérez Jiménez, J.C., Pires, J.D., Seidu, I., Serena, F., Soares, A., Tamo, A., Vacchi, M., Walls, R.H.L. & Williams, A.B. (2021). "Gymnura altavela". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2021: e.T63153A3123409. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-1.RLTS.T63153A3123409.en.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Conrath, C. and Scarbrough, R. Biological Profiles: Spiny Butterfly Ray. Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department. Retrieved on March 4, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Capapé, C.; Zaouali, J.; Tomasini, J.A. & Bouchereau, J.L. "Reproductive biology of the spiny butterfly ray, Gymnura altavela (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pisces: Gymnuridae) from off the Tunisian coasts". Scientia Marina. 56 (4): 347–355.
  4. ^ a b McEachran, J.D. & Fechhelm, J.D. (1998). Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico: Myxiniformes to Gasterosteiformes. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-75206-7.
  5. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2009). "Gymnura altavela" in FishBase. March 2009 version.
  6. ^ a b Henningsen, A.D. (1996). "Captive Husbandry and Bioenergetics of the Spiny Butterfly Ray, Gymnura altavela (Linnaeus)". Zoo Biology. 15: 135–142. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1996)15:2<135::AID-ZOO4>3.0.CO;2-C.
  7. ^ a b Daiber, F.C. & Booth, R.A. (Jun 29, 1960). "Notes on the Biology of the Butterfly Rays, Gymnura altavela and Gymnura micrura". Copeia. 1960 (2): 137–139. doi:10.2307/1440209. JSTOR 1440209.
  8. ^ Myers, R.A.; Baum, J.K.; Shepherd, T.D.; Powers, S.P. & Peterson, C.H. (2007). "Cascading Effects of the Loss of Apex Predatory Sharks from a Coastal Ocean". Science. 315 (5820): 1846–1850. doi:10.1126/science.1138657. PMID 17395829.
  9. ^ Lassâd, N.; Louis, E. & Kalthoum, B.H.O. (2002). "Anthobothrium altavelae sp. n. (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) from the spiny butterfly ray Gymnura altavela (Elasmobranchii: gymnuridae) in Tunisia". Folia Parasitologica. 49 (4): 295–298. PMID 12641203.
  10. ^ Campbell, R.A. & Beveridge, I. (Oct 1997). "Pterobothrioides, a new genus of tapeworms (Cestoda: Trypanorhyncha: Pterobothriidae) from dasyatid stingrays in the Eastern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans". Systematic Parasitology. 38 (2): 81–91. doi:10.1023/A:1005805005267.
  11. ^ Murch, A. Information about the Spiny Butterfly Ray. Elasmodiver.com. Retrieved on March 4, 2009.

 title=
license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN

Spiny butterfly ray: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

The spiny butterfly ray or giant butterfly ray (Gymnura altavela) is a species of butterfly ray, family Gymnuridae, native to the shallow coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A large ray that can measure over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) across, it may be distinguished from the sympatric smooth butterfly ray (G. micrura) by the spine at the base of its tail and by a small tentacular structure on the margin of each spiracle. Slow-reproducing and valued for its meat, in recent decades its population has experienced a decline of over 30%, and it has become Critically Endangered in certain parts of its range.

license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN

Distribution

provided by World Register of Marine Species
Western Atlantic: southern New England, USA to Brazil
license
cc-by-4.0
copyright
WoRMS Editorial Board
bibliographic citation
North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
contributor
Mary Kennedy [email]

Habitat

provided by World Register of Marine Species
benthic
license
cc-by-4.0
copyright
WoRMS Editorial Board
bibliographic citation
North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
contributor
Mary Kennedy [email]