Brownspotted Torpedo Ray: Torpedo sp.

Family: Torpedinidae
Common name(s)

Brownspotted Torpedo Ray.


Torpedo sp. (awaiting formal description).




A small to medium-sized torpedo ray with a subcircular disc that is slightly wider than long. Anterior margin of disc straight or almost straight, with a weak central bulge. Eyes protruding; slightly larger than spiracles. Eyes and spiracles closely separated. Spiracles rounded with multiple small pointed papillae.
Pelvic fins somewhat broad, with mildly convex posterior margins. Tail relatively long with a well developed lateral skin fold. Dorsal fins well separated. First dorsal fin tall with a rounded apex and posterior margin. First dorsal origin significantly anterior to pelvic fin insertion. Second dorsal fin smaller than first, anterior margin heavily slanted, apex narrowly rounded, posterior margin mildly convex. Caudal fin large, sub-triangular, apices narrowly rounded, posterior margin deeply convex.


Dorsum variable. Overall light brown with many large reddish-brown to dark brown spots surrounded by smaller diffuse white spots. Spots smaller towards disc margin. Brown spots may be bold and well defined or indistinct, leading to a mottled appearance. Ventrum pale.


Maximum length unknown.

Brownspotted Torpedo Ray, Torpedo sp. An undescribed torpedo ray from West Africa. Meoune Reef, Dakar, Senegal, Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Conservation Status


The brownspotted torpedo ray is an undescribed species that has not yet been assessed. Like other torpedo rays from West Africa, this species is probably caught as bycatch and retained in some areas such as Senegal. Other species in the region have undergone significant declines (between 50-79% over three generation lengths) and are assessed as Endangered.

Brownspotted Torpedo Ray, Torpedo sp. An undescribed torpedo ray from West Africa. Meoune Reef, Dakar, Senegal, Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Sub-temperate to sub-tropical seas. Benthic on soft sandy substrates and rocky reefs. At 15-20m.


Eastern Atlantic. Confirmed in Senegal and Ivory Coast. Probably occurs throughout West Africa.


Aplacental viviparous like other torpedo rays. specifics unknown.


Probably small benthic invertebrates and fishes.


The brownspotted torpedo ray is active nocturnally.

Reaction to divers

Easy to approach. Will swim away if uncovered or harassed. May try to shock divers when threatened.

Diving logistics

This is a poorly known torpedo ray that I have only seen at night at a dive site named Meoune Reef off Dakar, Senegal.

There have also been sightings at offshore oil rigs near Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.

Similar species

Marbled Torpedo (Torpedo marmorata) An extremely variable species than usually has a more variegated pattern, but may appear quite similar.