Friday 17 May
Leopard torpedo (Torpedo panthera)
Leopard torpedo fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Leopard torpedo description
Torpedo rays have fascinated scientists for many years due to their remarkable ability to produce an electrical discharge from large kidney-shaped organs situated between the head and the pectoral fins (3) (4). The flattened body and enlarged pectoral fins form a circular disc shape, which in this species is dark brown patterned with clusters of whitish spots (3), vaguely resembling the large cat species of its common name. The mouth is situated on the underside of the flabby body and small, bulging eyes are situated on top of the head, surrounded by small spiracles (3) (4). Spiracles are tiny holes that allow the ray to breathe when resting on the ocean bottom, as in this position the mouth is covered (4). The stout tail is substantially shorter than the length of the body disc and bears a well developed fin at its tip (3).
- Also known as
- panther electric ray.
- Total length: up to 1 m (2)
- In the fishing industry, the part of the catch made up of non-target species.
- Pectoral fins
- In fish, the pair of fins that are found one on each side of the body just behind the gills. They are generally used for balancing and braking.
- IUCN Red List (April, 2008)
- Bonfil, R. and Abdallah, M. (2004) Field Identification Guide to the Sharks and Rays of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
- De Carvalho, M.R., Stehmann, M.F.W. and Manilo, L.G. (2002) 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 area (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes: Torpedinidae). American Museum Novitates, 3369: 1 - 34.
- ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research (April, 2008)
- Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
- FishBase (April, 2008)
- Allaby, M. (1992) Dictionary of Zoology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Leopard torpedo biology
The leopard torpedo is an ovoviviparous fish (6), meaning that the young develop inside a weakly-formed egg shell within the adult female, receiving nourishment from their yolk sac. The young hatch inside the female and are then ‘born’ live (7). Sexual maturity is believed to be reached before the leopard torpedo reaches a length of 28.1 centimetres (3), but nothing else is known about the biology of this fish.Top
Leopard torpedo range
The leopard torpedo occurs in the Indian Ocean, where it is thought to be distributed from the Red Sea, through the Gulf of Aden, to the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, to the Bay of Bengal (1) (3).Top
Leopard torpedo habitat
Within its marine habitat, the leopard torpedo is known to occur in very shallow water and down to a depth of 110 metres, over muddy or sandy bottoms (2). Their flattened body is an adaptation to life on the sea bed (5).Top
Leopard torpedo status
Classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Leopard torpedo threats
The greatest threat to the leopard torpedo is thought to be by-catch. Areas of the leopard torpedo’s distribution are heavily fished, in particular with shrimp trawls, and species that dwell on the ocean bottom are particularly vulnerable to being captured in fishing trawls. It is presumed that when accidentally captured, the leopard torpedo is thrown back into the water, but whether many survive this ordeal is unknown. A lack of data means that it is not known whether leopard torpedo numbers have already decreased due to by-catch, but with shrimp trawl fisheries unlikely to lessen or stop in the future, a decline in leopard torpedo populations seems likely (1).Top
Leopard torpedo conservation
Before any conservation measures can be implemented, further data are clearly needed. Clarifying the leopard torpedo’s distribution, and determining the extent to which it is threatened by shrimp trawling, would help establish how threatened this species is (1).Top
Find out more
To find out more about the conservation of sharks and rays see:
Save Our Seas Foundation:
For further information on the electric organs of rays see:
ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research:
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.