Starting off with an electrifying start, this ray goes by more than just its common name of Marbled Electric Ray. Also known as the Marbled Torpedo Ray and Spotted Torpedo, it’s a ray in the Torpedinidae family.
Torpedo marmorata can reach up to 60 cm in size, and is found in the shallows of the Eastern Atlantic from the North Sea to South Africa. Called marbled due to their dark brown marbled colouration over a creamy background, they are occasionally all brown.
They inhabit the shallows down to 200 m (656 ft) on sand, mud or sea grass flats, and are often seen around rocky reefs where they lay motionless for most of the day. Here, they hide under the sand, consuming octopus, shrimps and bony fish by stunning them by discharging electricity.
“Wait, what?!” You heard that right! And when threatened, the marbled torpedo ray will curl its body in so that if an attack occurs, it can emit its high voltage shock. Click on this link to see an example of this threat posture.
There are at least four other torpedo rays that share parts of the marbled torpedo ray's range. These are the common torpedo ray, Bacuhot’s torpedo ray, Mackay’s torpedo ray and the Atlantic torpedo ray. These five rays can be told apart by their distinctive markings. The marbled electric ray is assessed as Data Deficient (DD) by the IUCN.
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