Whitespotted Torpedo Ray: Torpedo sp.

Family: Torpedinidae
Common name(s)

Whitespotted Torpedo Ray.


Torpedo sp. (awaiting formal description).




A small to medium-sized torpedo ray with a subcircular disc. Snout vert short. 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 broad, with well rounded posterior margins. Tail short and robust with a well developed lateral skin fold. Dorsal fins closely separated. First dorsal fin tall with narrowly rounded apex and rounded posterior margin. First dorsal origin over or slightly anterior to pelvic fin insertion. Second dorsal fin slightly smaller and more slanted. Caudal fin large, sub-triangular, apices rounded, posterior margin slightly convex.


Dorsum reddish brown to grey brown, densely covered in small white spots or whirls that reach disc margin. Spots smaller towards disc margin. Spots sparser or occasionally absent on dorsal and caudal fins. Ventrum creamy white.


Maximum length unknown.

Whitespotted Torpedo Ray, Torpedo sp. An undescribed torpedo species from West Africa. Meoune Reef, Senegal, Eastern Atlantic.

Conservation Status


The whitespotted 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.

Whitespotted Torpedo Ray, Torpedo sp. juvenile. An undescribed torpedo species from West Africa. Meoune Reef, Senegal, Eastern Atlantic.

Sub-temperate to tropical seas. Benthic on soft sandy substrates and rocky reefs. From shallow bays to at least 25m.


Eastern Atlantic. Confirmed in Senegal but probably occurs more widely in West Africa.


Aplacental viviparous like other torpedo rays. specifics unknown.


Probably small benthic invertebrates and fishes.


The whitespotted torpedo ray is active nocturnally.

Reaction to divers

Easy to approach but tends to start swimming away if uncovered or harassed. Eventually bolts or tries to re-bury if approached too aggressively. 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 in N’gor Bay also in Senegal.

Similar species

West African Torpedo (Torpedo mackayana) Distinguished by lack of papillae on spiracles and lighter colour and smaller white spots that do not reach the disc margin.