Another day, another freshwater stingray. The Big-tooth river stingray (Potamotrygon henlei). Also known as the Tocantins River ray, they are a species in the family Potamotrygonidae like all other freshwater stingrays. They are endemic to Brazil, specifically the lower Tocantins and Araguaia basin and you can find them where the mud is plentiful. And trust me, it is plentiful here.
Like other freshwater rays, you may see these on display in aquariums as they only reach up to about 71 cm (2.33 ft) in disc width (DW) and 104.2 cm (3.42 ft) in total length (TL). Unlike other freshwater rays, their pattern can be perceived as dull compared to others. They are a black-grey colour with large yellow-white spots above and their underbelly is mainly white in the center with broad brownish edges.
According to previous research, it seems they are common in their range and had a population increase once the Tucuruí Dam was completed. Due to this, the IUCN has assessed them as Least Concern (LC).
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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