Gymnura altavela

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Spiny butterfly ray
Classification: Elasmobranchii Myliobatiformes Gymnuridae

Reference of the original description
Linné, C. (1758)
Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, regnum animale, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus differentiis synonymis, locis. Ed. X., 1: 824 p. Stockholm(L. SALVIUS).

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Images of the original description (synonym)
Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Dasyatis altavela, Dasyatis canariensis, Dasyatis maclura, Gymnura cf. altavela, Gymnura hirundo, Pastinaca maclura, Pteroplatea altavela, Pteroplatea binotata, Pteroplatea canariensis, Pteroplatea hirundo, Pteroplatea maclura, Pteroplatea vaillantii, Pteroplatea valenciennii, Raia altavela, Raja altavela, Raja maclura, Trygon altavela, Trygon maclura

Gymnura altavela

Pteroplatea binotata
Holotype: MHNG: 1213.89
Pteroplatea canariensis
Holotype: MNHN: A-8707;
Pteroplatea valenciennii
Holotype: MNHN: 2324;

Description :

Citation: Gymnura altavela (Linnaeus, 1758): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 12/2021

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Gymnura altavela (Linnaeus, 1758), male, off port of Valencia © L'Elasmogrup, University of Valencia)
Common names
deu \(T\) Peitschenrochen, deu \(T\) Schmetterlingsrochen, deu \(T\) Stechrochen, spa Manta, spa Mantellina, spa Mariposa, spa Milá, spa Pastinaca, spa Raya de papel, spa Raya mariposa, spa Raya mariposa espinuda, spa Rayamariposa, spa Vaca, spa Vela, spa Vela italiana, spa Vela latina, fra \(T\) Choucka bastarda, fra \(T\) Masca, fra \(T\) Mourine bâtarde, fra \(T\) Pastenague ailée, fra \(T\) Pastigue de Columna, fra \(T\) Raie aigle, fra \(T\) Raie papillon, fra \(T\) Raie-papillon épineuse, eng Butterfly ray, eng Giant butterfly ray, eng Spiny butterfly ray, ita Altavela, ita Bugghiu, ita Gavila, ita Manteddu, ita Pisciu vela, ita Tavela, ita Tavila, ita Vugghiu mantellinu, por Arraia-borboleta, por Arraia-manteiga, por Avejão, por Borboleta, por Breamanta, por Raia, por Raia-amarela, por Raia-borboleta, por Raia-gererera, por Raia-manteiga, por Uge-manta, por Uge-mata, por Vela-latina

Short Description
Tail short armed with spine. Disk very broad. Very low dorsal and ventral finfolds on tail [17658]. Disk dark brown to grayish, lower surface of disc and of pelvic fins white, brownish, rosy or rusty cast. Tail white or rosy white below [199].

Western Atlantic: southern New England, USA, Brazil [17658] to Argentina [5839]. Eastern Atlantic: Portugal to Ambriz, Angola (including the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and the Madeira and Canary islands).
First record: 2019: off Venezuela [27305] Source:

Human uses
fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; price category: high; price reliability: reliable: based on ex-vessel price for this species

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures [733]. Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Feeds on fish and shrimps [20216].

Size / Weight / Age
400 cm WD (male/unsexed; (Ref. 3709)); max. published weight: 60.0 kg (Ref. 4699)

demersal; brackish; marine; depth range 5 - 100 m [17687]

shark-references Species-ID=2564;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Heteronchocotyle gymnurae Neifar, Euzet & Ben Hassine, 2001 [21202]

  • Acanthobothrium paulum Linton, 1890 [17126] [16448]
  • Anthobothrium altavelae Neifar, Euzet & Ben Hassine, 2002 [9441]
  • Pterobothrioides petterae Campbell & Beveridge, 1997 [16127] [16112]
  • Pterobothrium heteracanthum Diesing, 1850 [16126] [16112]
  • Pterobothrium lintoni (Maccallum, 1916) Dollfus, 1942 [16126] [16112]

  • Eudactylina turgipes Bere, 1936 [16609]