Torpedo marmorata

Author: Risso, 1810

Torpedo (Torpedo) marmorata Risso, 1810

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Torpedo (Torpedo) marmorata Risso, 1810 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: first dorsal fin only slightly larger than second; distance from origin of first dorsal fin to midpoint of hind margin of caudal fin just about one-third total length of fish. Two large nuchal pores side by side, as well as up to five additional pores irregularly arranged. Spiracles with 6-8 tentacles of equal length on margins. Colour: variable above, usually light mottling or marbling on brown background; underside white to cream. Size: to about 60 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic on soft as well as stony bottoms down to about 40 m, occasionally to 100 m. Food: mainly small benthic fishes, but also invertebrates. Reproduction: ovoviviparous; gestation about ten months, from November to December, when 5-32 juveniles are set free, their number depending on size of female (Mediterranean data).

Distribution: northward to Brittany, less common to southern North Sea, Kattegat and western coast of Scotland; also whole of Mediterranean. Elsewhere, south to South Africa.

Note: some otherwise typical specimens lack the additional five nuchal pores, and also some of the 6-8 tentacles round the spiracle margin are short and knob-like; intermediate conditions have been found in specimens from the area.

Complementary iconography. D'Ancona, 1931: pl. 31 | Muus and Dahlström, 1965: 50-51, fig. 16a-b | Bini, 1967: 131-132, fig. | Marshall, 1971: col. fig. 180.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Leuckart, 1850: 256-257,1 pl. | Ranzi, 1934: 339, 364-365 | Capapé, 1974 b: 256.