Gulf torpedo

Gulf torpedo

name = Gulf torpedo

status = DD | status_system = IUCN3.1
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Chondrichthyes
ordo = Torpediniformes
familia = Torpedinidae
genus = "Torpedo"
species = "T. sinuspersici"
binomial = "Torpedo sinuspersici"
binomial_authority = Olfers, 1831FishBase_species| genus = Torpedo | species = sinuspersici | month = October | year = 2008]
synonyms =

The gulf torpedo, marbled electric ray, or variable electric ray, "Torpedo sinuspersici", is a species of electric ray in Torpedinidae family. It is found in the Indian Ocean, but may represent a species flock of several local endemic species.

Distribution and habitat

The gulf torpedo is the most widespread of the electric rays in the western Indian Ocean, with a patchy range extending to South Africa, Somalia, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, Sri Lanka, and the Andaman Sea. There are also less reliable reports of it occurring elsewhere, including Madagascar, the Seychelles, and the Laccadive Islands.cite journal| last = de Carvalho, Marcelo R., Stehmann, M., and Manilo, L. | title = Torpedo adenensis, a New Species of Electric Ray from the Gulf of Aden, with Comments on Nominal Species of Torpedo from the Western Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and Adjacent Areas (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes: Torpedinidae) | journal = American Museum Novitates| volume = 3369 | issue = 1 | pages = 1–34 | date = 2002 | url = | accessdate = 2008-10-09] It is found in shallow waters in sandy areas, on and near coral reefs, and offshore to a depth of 200 meters.cite web |url= |title=IUCN 2008 Red List - Torpedo sinuspersici |accessdate=2008-10-10 |last= Smale |first= M.J.]


The gulf torpedo has a rounded disc, two dorsal fins, and measures up to 130 cm long, although most are less than 100 cm. The caudal fin is small, and there are papillae around the spiracles. It has distinctive dorsal coloration, composed of a base brown color with strong, thick cream or white vermiculations over the disc, pelvic fins, and tail, with many cream-colored irregular spots, no larger than eye diameter, on the anterior and lateral disc regions. However, the coloration varies somewhat within the species. Some specimens have cream-colored brain-shaped figures or rosettes over the disc and tail, becoming smaller towards the disc margins, along with small spots laterally on the disc and the front of the snout.


Little is known of the life history of the gulf torpedo. Like other electric rays, it feeds on bony fishes and can generate a strong electric shock. Usually solitary, they may form groups during the mating season. It is ovoviviparous, bearing litters of 9-20 young. The developing embryos initially survive on the yolk sac, and then absorb enriched uterine fluid produced by the mother.


The gulf torpedo may be threatened by habitat destruction, as well as being caught as a by-catch in trawling fisheries. However, its conservation status is difficult to assess as the species may represent a flock of several local species.


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