Torpedo sinuspersici | UAE National Red List of Marine Species: Reef-building corals, cartilaginous fishes and select bony fishes

Torpedo sinuspersici | Olfers, 1831
Countries in Assessment
United Arab Emirates
Country ISO code(s)
Does the assessment cover a marine EEZ area(s)?
Scope (Assessment)
Taxonomic Group
Taxonomic Group Level 2
Assessed taxon level
Taxonomic Notes
This species was described with no type specimen and locality, but it has been presumed to be from the Arabian Gulf (Wallace 1967, Compagno 1986, Carvalho et al. 2002). It is considered to be one of the most widely distributed electric rays of the Western Indian Ocean (Carvalho et al. 2002, Last et al. 2016). However, the status of this species is uncertain as it is possibly a species-complex (Last et al. 2016). It is highly variable and confused with the Panther Torpedo (Torpedo panthera) (Last et al. 2016). The present account is therefore provisional, and in the event that species within the complex are better delineated, reassessment will be required (this may result in the status of electric rays being revised upwards, on the basis of small populations with localized distributions).
Taxon distribution as listed in assessment
The Gulf Torpedo occurs throughout UAE waters (Randall 1995, Field 2005). Globally, it occurs widely in the Western Indian Ocean from India to southern Africa; however, this is possibly a species-complex of several distinct and possibly highly localized endemic species (Last et al. 2016). The form occurring in India is genetically distinct and likely represents a different species (K.K. Bineesh pers. comm. 05/02/2017).
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
The Gulf Torpedo is found in shallow waters in sandy areas and near reefs and also well offshore to 200 m (Compagno et al. 1989). Little known of the species' biology or ecology. It is viviparous, like other electric rays, and reported to have litters of 9 to 22 young (Compagno et al. 1989). It reaches ~130 cm TL, but mostly less than 100 cm TL (Compagno et al. 1989).
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Data Deficient
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment rationale/justification
The Gulf Torpedo occurs throughout UAE waters. However, the presently recognised species is likely a species-complex of several localized species and taxonomic examination is required to clarify the status of the species. Torpedo species are often confused in the region and species-specific data are therefore limited. It can be taken and discarded as bycatch in trawl fisheries, which may be a threat considering the species likely has a low survivorship of this activity. Due to taxonomic uncertainty, little is known on its distribution, population, ecology and potential threats in the UAE; therefore, it is listed as Data Deficient.
About the assessment
Assessment year
Assessors/contributors/reviewers listed
UAE National Red List Workshop
Affliation of assessor(s)/contributors/reviewers listed on assessment
Assessor affiliation specific
Criteria system
Criteria system specifics
IUCN v3.1
Criteria system used
Criteria Citation
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. iv + 32pp pp. And IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iii + 41pp.
Endemic to region
Endemism Notes
Is an endemic?: Not_assigned
Threats listed in assessment
Potential impacts from fisheries will need review upon resolution of taxonomic uncertainty. Corals in the UAE and Arabian Gulf have severely declined due to the increasing frequency of mass bleaching events caused by rising water temperatures, which is a consequence of climate change, as well as pervasive coastal development (Riegl et al. 2018, Burt et al. 2019).
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

Scientific Name Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Torpedo sinuspersici Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Torpediniformes Torpedinidae Torpedo