Did you know there are stingrays that solely live in freshwater? Yup! Potamotrygon is a whole entire genus of freshwater stingrays that are native to the rivers of South America. You may have actually even seen some in an aquarium once or twice. Like other stingrays, they do have venomous barbs at the base of their tails, with the barbs being dangerous to humans.
So which species in this genus are we talking about? Welcome Potamotrygon limai, also known as the Zé Lima river stingray.
First, you may be wondering, "Didn't we see this species already?" Nope! You have seen others in the Potamotrygon genus, and they all vary in color, pattern, and size. The maximum disc width for this particular species ranges from 31 cm (1 ft) to a 1.5 m (5 ft)! Talk about a huge ray!!!
Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., was observed in the Jamari River, which is part of the upper Madeira River system in the Amazon basin. It was seen in the state of Rondônia, Brazil in 2014. Researchers knew it was a different species due to their unique pattern not yet seen in the genus, even though it bears a similarity to P. scobina; there are a few differences between these two species, such as P. limai doesn't have any ocellated spots on their disc, a shorter and broader tail, more denticles on their disc, more midtail spine rows at the base of their tail, and other features like size at maturity. Zé Lima river stingray is also distinguished from other species of Potamotrygon genus by where they are found! This is all we know about this animal thus far, and the IUCN has not evaluated these animals.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THIS ANIMAL?
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
SEARCH BY CATEGORIES