Notes on ontogenetic color patterns in Narcine bancroftii (Griffith & Smith 1834) (Torpediniformes: Narcinidae)

Luis Alejandro Zambrano


Fish of the genus Narcine, commonly known as electric rays, are characterized by the presence of depressed body, a thick tail, pectoral fins fused to the trunk, and dorsal electrical organs. Two species, N. bancroftii and N. brasiliensis, are distributed in the western Atlantic coast and the Caribbean Sea. In this study, I described the ontogenetic changes in the coloration pattern for N. bancroftii. The 41 specimens here analyzed come from artisanal fishery in La Ensenada de la Guardia, the ichthyological collection of the Universidad de Oriente (Isla de Margarita campus), and literature records. I observed that dorsal coloration varies greatly in this species in relation to the size of the specimen. In fact, the newborn specimens exhibit a blotch-based pattern, while large (≥ 19 cm TL) specimens showed a complex pattern of specks or terminal ocelli. These results provide a novel and important contribution to a poorly study topic in ontogeny of fish.

Palabras clave

Elasmobranchii, Lesser electric ray, ontogenetic changes, photo identification

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