Torpedo sinuspersici (Olfers, 1831)
Torpedo sinuspersici (Olfers, 1831)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Torpedo sinuspersici

English Name: Variable torpedo ray

Creole Name: Lare trambler

French Name: Torpille marbrée

IUCN Red List Status: Data Deficient (DD)


Medium-sized torpedo ray. Disc fleshy, broadly circular, slightly wider than long, anterior margin almost straight with small median bulge at tip. Eyes moderately sized and separated by considerable space. Orbit smaller than interspiracular distance and about equal to spiracle in size.

Spiracles rounded, usually with 9 to 10 rather short sub triangular papillae that do not extend to centre of spiracle opening. Posterior papilla longer than lateral papillae. Mouth arched. Nostrils with large nasal flaps. First dorsal fin with broadly rounded apex, not as tall as caudal fin, situated entirely over pelvic fins. Second dorsal fin originates over pelvic fin posterior tip, smaller than first dorsal, anteriorly slanted with oval apex. Pelvic fins broad and not very elongate, rounded posteriorly. Tail short and moderately stout, skin folds well developed. Upper lobe of caudal fin larger and more sloping than lower lobe, posterior margin of fin straight to rounded. Electric organs more clearly visible on ventral surface.

Colour. Highly variable. Adults usually brownish or blackish brown with elaborate reticulate pale pattern. Creamy white ventrally. (This description is based on Last et al 2016).


Confirmed to attain 80cm TL (though there are reports of individuals reaching 130cm TL); males mature before reaching 30cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Benthic. Inhabits the continental shelf on coral reefs and sandy and rocky areas (depth 1-150 m). Feeds on benthic invertebrates and fishes. Ovoviviparous with 9-22 in a litter. Typically solitary but forms aggregations during the reproductive season.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is very rarely if ever caught in the artisanal fishery – no specimens were recorded in a 5-year monitoring of the Victoria Market. Flesh is edible. Elsewhere it is reported as occasionally hooked by anglers.


Can deliver a strong electric shock.

The specimen shown here was photographed off Farquhar island by Ms Annabelle Cupidon, of the Island Conservation Society, in February 2020. This specimen does not match all the criteria of the above description. The species however is likely a species-complex of several, localized species and further taxonomic resolution is required.


Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. 2019. FishBase. (13/08/19). Torpedo sinuspersici. (12/03/20).

Kyne, P.M. 2019. Torpedo sinuspersici . The IUCN Red List 2019: e.T60136A140820271. (12/03/20).

Last, P.R. et al (2016). Rays of the World. CSIRO Publishing ISBN 9781501705328 (Primary reference)

Smith, M & Heemstra, P Eds. (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


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