Porcupine Ray, Urogymnus asperrimus Click to enlarge image
A Porcupine Ray at a depth of 10m, off Cairns, Queensland, February 2007. Image: Blair Carter
© Blair Carter

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    asperrimus
    Genus
    Urogymnus
    Family
    Dasyatidae
    Order
    Myliobatiformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to at least 1 m in disc width.

Introduction

The strange-looking Porcupine Ray is covered with plate-like tenticles and sharp thorns.

Identification

The Porcupine Ray has an oval-shaped disc that is covered with plate-like tenticles and sharp thorns. The tail lacks stinging spines and skin folds. The fish is brown to grey above and white below. The tail tip is dark.


Porcupine Ray, Urogymnus asperrimus
Head of a Porcupine Ray Image: Blair Carter
© Blair Carter

Habitat

It is a benthic species that is usually found on sandy or rubbly seabeds.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical inshore waters of Eastern Atlantic and the Indo-west and Central Pacific.

In Australia it is known from off north-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south on the east coast to the central coast of Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
  3. Last, P.R. & Compagno, L.J.V. 1999. Dasyatidae in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-vi, 1398-2068.