Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Torpediniformes

Family: Torpedinidae

Genus: Torpedo

Species: T. marmorata

Physical Description

Torpedo marmorata  is a small ray which reaches a maximum of 100cm total length, but is rarely found over 80cm (Bester, Unknown). The disc is thick, flabby and rounded with the leading edge being almost straight, although median indentation is seen. The tail is short and thick with a large caudal fin and two close-set dorsal fins. The skin is soft to touch and seems almost loose fitting. There are seven papillae-like protuberances around each spiracle.

Biology and Behavior

Torpedo marmorata usually avoids temperatures above 20°C by burying itself during the day with only the eyes and spiracle jutting out. These are completely nocturnal creatures, feeds on small benthic fishes Trachurus, Mugil, Mullus, Dicentrarchus, Spondyliosoma, Boops, Labrus, Dascyllus, Pomacentrus) and crustaceans. It is viviparous, neonates measuring 10-14 cm at birth 5-32 in a litter Electrocytes start developing when the embryo weighs about 1 g. It can produce electric discharges for  capturing prey Can produce electric discharges of up to 200 volts.

Habitat and Distribution

Occurs in seagrass areas, rocky reefs, and adjacent soft bottoms. Can be found in the waters of Eastern Atlantic, North Sea and Kattegat to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Also in the Mediterranean Sea.