seen? This rather chubby ray with a stumpy tail was seen
on our Northern shores, among seagrasses. Elsewhere, they are found
in sandy, muddy areas, from river mouths to coral reefs. It was previously in Family Torpenididae.
What are numbfishes? Numbfishes
are rays belonging to Family
Torpedinidae. Some scientists group these fishes in the Family Narcinidae
which according to FishBase
has 9 genera and 24 species. They are found in the Atlantic, Indian
and Pacific Oceans. Numbfishes are different from stingrays
that belong to the Family Dasyatidae.
Features: 15-60cm in diameter.
Body flattened disc-shaped. Like other rays, it takes water in from
gill openings on the upperside of the body, expelling water out from
gill slits on the underside, enlarged pectoral fins along the body
edges. Unlike stingrays, the numbfish has a pair of obvious dorsal
and a tail fin too. The tail is short and fat and not whip-lik, and
lacks stinging barbs..
Members of this group also have a pair of kidney-shaped electric organs
at the base of the pectoral fins that can produce mild to strong electric
shocks. Thus their common name. Their scientific name comes from the
Greek 'narke' which means 'paralysis'. The eyes are small and the
skin soft and loose.
What do they eat? Electric rays
use their electric power to stun fishes that they eat. While most
eat small fishes, some species can stun relatively large fishes that
are eaten whole. The jaws and mouth are highly protrusible forming
a tube to suck up prey. Some shallow water species spend most of their
time buried in the sand with only their nostrils visible.
Electric babies: These fishes give birth to live young,
producing small litters.
This particular ray was seen several times and is still unidentified.
It had a round body about 10cm in diameter. Beige with maroon spots.
Short fat tail with two round dorsal fins. A similar numbfish was
also seen and photographed at
Chek Jawa by Cheng Puay.
tail with dorsal and tail fins.
Narcinidae recorded for Singapore
Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity
||Narcine maculata (Dark-spotted numbfish)
Temera hardwickii (Hardwicke's eletric ray)
- Chan Sow Yan. 17 Jan 2014. Dark-spotted
numbfish (Narcine maculata) neonate at Changi Beach.
Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 22
- Allen, Gerry,
Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers.
Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
- Kuiter, Rudie
H. 2002. Guide
to Sea Fishes of Australia: A Comprehensive Reference for Divers
New Holland Publishers. 434pp.
Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral
Reef Fishes of the World
Periplus Editions. 400pp.