Torpedo adenensis : a new species of electric ray from the Gulf of Aden : with comments on nominal species of Torpedo from the western Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and adjacent areas (Chondrichthyes, Torpediniformes, Torpedinidae). American Museum novitates ; no. 3369

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New York, NY : American Museum of Natural History
A new species of electric ray of the genus Torpedo is described from the eastern Gulf of Aden, northwestern Indian Ocean. Torpedo adenensis, n. sp., is placed in the subgenus Torpedo due to the presence of small, knoblike papillae around its spiracles. It is distinguished from all other congeners by its unique dorsal coloration, consisting of a uniform reddish-, rusty-, or orange-brown without any distinctive spots, blotches, or reticulations. A unique combination of characters further distinguishes T. adenensis, including the proximity of the spiracles and eyes, the distance between the second dorsal and caudal fin, which is greater than the distance between the first and second dorsal fins, and the presence of an integumental flap in the clasper glans region. Torpedo adenensis is sexually mature when between 280 and 395 mm in total length, is known from specimens of both sexes, including adults and subadults, and is the only species of Torpedo unequivocally reported from the Gulf of Aden to date. Examination of further material, including type material, confirms that at least four other valid species of Torpedo occur in the western Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and adjacent gulfs: Torpedo panthera von Olfers, 1831, Torpedo sinuspersici Kämpfer in von Olfers, 1831, Torpedo fuscomaculata Peters, 1855, and Torpedo suessi Steindachner, 1898a . We have attempted to clarify the status and distribution of these species, and confirm that all four do not occur sympatrically. All four species may be distinguished on dorsal color pattern, but intraspecific variation in coloration and the proper limits of all four species remain to be precisely determined. Lectotypes are designated for T. panthera, T. fuscomaculata, and T. suessi. Torpedo smithii Günther, 1870 is confirmed as a junior synonym of T. fuscomaculata. Narcacion polleni Bleeker, 1866 is provisionally regarded as a junior synonym of T. sinuspersici, but it may eventually prove to be a valid species from Réunion. Torpedo zugmayeri Engelhardt, 1912 is either a junior synonym of T. sinuspersici or valid, but more material from off Pakistan needs to be examined to determine its taxonomic fate. Torpedo suessi has not been recorded since originally described from off Yemen in the southern Red Sea, but evidence for its possible occurrence off Sudan is presented. To serve as a reference for future studies, type material of T. panthera, T. fuscomaculata, T. polleni, T. smithii, and T. suessi is described and illustrated for the first time since their original descriptions. Torpedo panthera and T. adenensis share the derived presence of an integumental flap in the clasper glans region, forming a monophyletic species group.
34 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 31-34).