Gymnura natalensis

(Gilchrist & Thompson, 1911)

Backwater butterfly ray
Classification: Elasmobranchii Myliobatiformes Gymnuridae

Reference of the original description
Gilchrist, J.D.F. & Thompson, W.W. (1911)
Descriptions of fishes from the coast of Natal (Part III.). Annals of the South African Museum, 11(2), 29–58

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Pteroplatea natalensis, Urogymnus natalensis

Gymnura natalensis
Holotype: SAM: 10632

Description :

Citation: Gymnura natalensis (Gilchrist & Thompson, 1911): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 03/2024

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Common names
deu \(T\) Schmetterlingsrochen, spa Raya mariposa de Natal, fra \(T\) Raie-papillon du Natal, eng Backwater butterfly ray, eng Backwater butterflyray, eng Butterfly ray, eng Diamond ray

Short Description
Broad diamond-shaped pectoral disc almost twice as wide as it is long; tail shorter than body with black and white bands and a small sting; tentacle at rear edge of each spiracle [536]. Grey, green or brown above, often with darker mottling; white below; can change color of upper disc rapidly to match substrate [536].

Southeast Atlantic and Western Indian Ocean: Namibia round the Cape to southern Mozambique.

Human uses
gamefish: yes

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]. One year gestation; up to 10 young [536]. Feeds on fish and zoobenthos [536].

Size / Weight / Age
250 cm WD (male/unsexed; [20091]); max. published weight: 82.6 kg (Ref. 40637)

demersal; marine; depth range 20 - 100 m [20042]

shark-references Species-ID=2579;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Heteronchocotyle gymnurae Neifar, Euzet & Ben Hassine, 2001 [31765]