Pteromylaeus bovinus

(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817)

Bull ray
Classification: Elasmobranchii Myliobatiformes Myliobatidae

Reference of the original description
Geoffroy St. Hilaire, E. (1817)
Poissons du Nil, de la Mer Rouge et de la Méditerranée, In Description de l'Egypte ou recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'expedition de l'Armée français, publié par les ordres de sa Majesté–L'Empereur Napoléon le Grand., pl. 18–27.

Image of the original description

Pteromylaeus bovinus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817) Plate 26 Fig. 1

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Aetobatis bovina, Aetomylaeus bovina, Aetomylaeus bovinus, Myliobates episcopus, Myliobatis bonaparti, Myliobatis bovina, Myliobatis episcopus, Pteromylaeus bovina, Pteromylaeus cf. bovina, Raja episcopus

Pteromylaeus bovinus

Aetomylaeus bovinus
XXXX: No types known;
Myliobatis bonaparti
Syntype: MNHN: 2356; MNHN: A-8715;

Description :

Citation: Pteromylaeus bovinus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 03/2024

Please send your images of "Pteromylaeus bovinus" to

Pteromylaeus bovinus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817) (ERB 1031), female, 73, 0 DW, 111, 2 TL, Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey © Frederik H. Mollen (Elasmobranch Research Belgium)
Common names
deu \(T\) Afrikanischer adlerrochen, deu \(T\) Afrikanischer gefleckter adlerrochen, deu \(T\) Gestreifter Adlerrochen, spa Arzobispo, spa Bon Jesús, spa Chucho, spa Chucho vaca, spa Milá, spa Obispo, spa Peje obispo, spa Pez obispo, spa Ratón, fra \(T\) Aigle-vachette, fra \(T\) Mourine, fra \(T\) Mourine vachette, fra \(T\) Mourine évêque, fra \(T\) Mourine évêque bovine, fra \(T\) Raie aigle, eng Bull ray, eng Bullray, eng Duckbill, eng Duckbill ray, eng Eagle ray, ita Bugghiu, ita Colombo, ita Colombo di mare, ita Ferraccia, ita Matan, ita Muggiu, ita Nottola, ita Orineglia, ita Oxella, ita Patesse, ita Stramasso, ita Tattarita, ita Tistuni, ita Vaccarella, ita Vaccariella, ita Vacche, ita Vascarella, ita Vescovo, por Bispo, por Papa, por Peixe-bispo, por Ratao bovino, por Ratão-bispo

Short Description
Field marks and Diagnostic Features after EBERT & STEHMANN, 2013 [17836]: Field Marks: Disc transversally lozenge-shaped, about twice as wide as long. Undamaged tail about twice as long as disc, with a single, small dorsal fin on base originating far anterior to pelvic fins posterior margins, and with a long, serrated spine directly behind dorsal fin, after which the tail becomes rapidly thinner like a whip-lash. Snout short but pronounced as a subrostral lobe that is narrowly rounded to a pointed tip. Colour of disc above plain brown in adults, but with 7 to 8 pale transverse streaks in juveniles; underside whitish. Diagnostic Features: Disc transversally lozenge-shaped, about twice as wide as long, with long anterior margins strongly convex, falcate outer corners and strongly concave, somewhat undulated posterior margins; head elevated from disc, with eyes and spiracles on sides of head, forehead of which steeply sloping to subrostral lobe; snout short but pronounced as narrowly rounded to pointed tip formed by subrostral lobe of pectoral–fin radials being separated at sides of head from remainder of pectoral fins; pelvic fins subquadrate unilobed. Tail, if undamaged, about twice as long as disc, with a single, small dorsal fin on base originating far anterior to pelvic fins posterior margins, and a long, serrated spine originating directly behind dorsal fin; thereafter, the tail becoming rapidly thinner like a whip-lash. Skin smooth above and below. Usually seven rows of flat thick teeth in each jaw forming very massive grinding plates, teeth in middle row of upper jaw 6 to 8 times as broad as long. Colour: disc above plain brown in adults, but with 7 to 8 pale transverse streaks in juveniles; underside whitish, with wing tips more or less reddish-brown, the whip-lash tail dark

Eastern North Atlantic: from off Morocco and Madeira, but not at Azores, northward along the Iberian Peninsula to the southern Bay of Biscay. Also found throughout the Mediterranean Sea, but not in the Black Sea. Elsewhere, southward along the West African coast to off South Africa, where it is rare in the coldwater upwelling region off Namibia and the Western Cape region, but more common in the south-western Indian Ocean north to Zanzibar [17836].

Human uses
fisheries: commercial; 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]. Gestation about 6 months; 3-7 young produced [536]. Size at birth 45 cm WD (Ref. 6677). Feeds on fish and zoobenthos [536].

Size / Weight / Age
250 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637)); max. published weight: 83.0 kg (Ref. 3965)

benthopelagic; brackish; marine; depth range 10 - 150 m [17687]

shark-references Species-ID=5289;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Empruthotrema chisholmae Hernandez-Orts, Ahuir-Baraja, Raga & Montero, 2010 [21266]
  • Heliocotyle kartasi Neifar & Euzet & Ben Hassine, 1999 [21211] [31118]
  • Monocotyle sp. [31118]
  • Myliocotyle pteromylaei Neifar, Euzet Ben Hassine 1999 [10846] [31118]

  • Aberrapex sp. [23959]
  • Caulobothrium katzi Caira & Jensen, 2021 [29436]
  • Caulobothrium multispelaeum Caira & Jensen, 2021 [29436]
  • Caulobothrium sp. [16908]
  • Halysioncum sp. [19536]

  • Branchellion torpedinis Savigny, 1822 [24517]