Short-tail Torpedo Ray, <i>Torpedo macneilli</i> Click to enlarge image
Dorsal surface of a 60cm long Short-tail Torpedo Ray trawled during the NORFANZ expedition at a depth between 587m and 700m on the Lord Howe Rise north of Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, May 2003 (CSIRO H6030-12). Image: Robin McPhee
© NORFANZ Founding Parties

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    macneilli
    Genus
    Torpedo
    Family
    Torpedinidae
    Order
    Torpediniformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to at least 1m in length.

Introduction

The Short-tail Torpedo Ray's disc is usually broader than long. The species is grey, yellowish or brown above and white below. It grows to at least 1m in length.

Identification

The Short-tail Torpedo Ray's disc is usually broader than long. The profile across the front of the fish is nearly straight. The skin is smooth, but may be creased. There are two small dorsal fins and a large caudal fin. The eyes are very small. On the underside of the head are five pairs of gill slits. The species is grey, yellowish or brown above and white below.


Short-tail Torpedo Ray, Torpedo macneilli (Whitley, 1932)
Ventral surface of a 60cm long Short-tail Torpedo Ray trawled during the NORFANZ expedition at a depth between 587m and 700m on the Lord Howe Rise north of Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, May 2003 (CSIRO H6030-12). Image: Robin McPhee
© NORFANZ Founding Parties

Habitat

The species is a bottom dwelling species that normally occurs between 90 m and 580 m in depth.

Distribution

The Short-tail Torpedo Ray is endemic to Australia. It is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia, around the south of the country including Tasmania, and north to the central coast of Queensland.



Other behaviours and adaptations

The Short-tail Torpedo Ray has electric organs in the disc. The organs are made up of hexagonal, fluid filled cells that cause the upper surface of the fish to have a positive charge and the lower surface a negative charge. Reports exist of fishermen who have received severe electric shocks from handling this fish.

References

  1. Last, P.R. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  2. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.