Order MYLIOBATIFORMES (Stingrays)

COMMENTS
v. 17.0 – 1 Feb. 2017  view/download PDF

12 families • 39 genera • 223 species

Family ZANOBATIDAE Panrays

Zanobatus Garman 1913    zano, etymology not explained and meaning unknown; batis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray

Zanobatus maculata Séret 2016    spotted, referring to blotched color pattern

Zanobatus schoenleinii (Müller & Henle 1841)    in honor of Henle’s friend and associate Johann Lucas Schönlein (1793-1864), naturalist and professor of medicine, who supplied type from his anatomical museum in Berlin


Family PLESIOBATIDAE Giant Stingaree

Plesiobatis Nishida 1990    plesio, primitive; batis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray, i.e., the most primitive (least derived) myliobatiform ray

Plesiobatis daviesi (Wallace 1967)    in honor of David H. Davies, late director of the Oceanographic Research Institute (Durban, South Africa), “who was responsible for the initiation of research on the batoid fishes of the east coast of Southern Africa”


Family UROLOPHIDAE Stingarees
3 genera • 28 species

Spinilophus Yearsley & Last 2016    spina, thorn or spine, referring to thorns, spinules and dermal denticules on dorsal surface; lophus, shortening of Urolophus (original genus)

Spinilophus armatus (Valenciennes 1841)    armed with a weapon, referring to thorns, spinules and dermal denticules on dorsal surface (authorship often attributed to Müller & Henle, who published Valenciennes’ description)

Trygonoptera Müller & Henle 1841    trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by head and pectoral fins; ptera, fin, possibly referring to small dorsal fin on tail

Trygonoptera galba Last & Yearsley 2008    galbus, yellow, referring to distinctive dorsal coloration

Trygonoptera imitata Yearsley, Last & Gomon 2008    imitor, copy or mimic, referring to similarity to T. mucosa and T. testacea and confusion over their identification

Trygonoptera mucosa (Whitley 1939)    slimy, referring to its “extremely slimy” back

Trygonoptera ovalis Last & Gomon 1987    oval, referring to its nearly oval disc

Trygonoptera personata Last & Gomon 1987    masked, referring to continuous dark mask-like markings around and between eyes

Trygonoptera testacea Müller & Henle 1841    brick-like, referring to pale brick-like color of dorsal surface

Urolophus Müller & Henle 1837    oura, tail; lophus, crest, referring to lobe-like caudal fin, i.e., ”a fin at the tip of the tail” (translation)

Urolophus aurantiacus Müller & Henle 1841    orange-colored, referring to dark-orange coloration of upper surface

Urolophus bucculentus Macleay 1884    with full cheeks, referring to size of mouth, which is more than three times larger proportionally to size of ray than in Trygonoptera testacea

Urolophus circularis McKay 1966    round, referring to its almost circular disc

Urolophus cruciatus (Lacepède 1804)    cruciform, referring to cross-like pattern of stripes and crossbars on dorsal surface

Urolophus deforgesi Séret & Last 2003    in honor of Bertrand Richer de Forges (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), for promoting the exploration of the bathyal fauna off New Caledonia and for collecting valuable fish specimens from cruise surveys

Urolophus expansus McCulloch 1916    wide, referring to its broad disc

Urolophus flavomosaicus Last & Gomon 1987    flavus, yellow, referring to yellowish dorsal surface; mosaicus, referring to mosaic pattern of large, whitish spots encircled by rings

Urolophus gigas Scott 1954    large; allusion not explained but probably referring to large size (second largest Urolophus in Australia) and/or large spiracles

Urolophus javanicus (Martens 1864)    icus, belonging to: Java, Indonesia, type locality

Urolophus kaianus Günther 1880    -anus, belonging to: Kai Islands, Indonesia, Arafura Sea, type locality

Urolophus kapalensis Yearsley & Last 2006    ensis, suffix denoting place: FRV Kapala (formerly of the N.S.W. Fisheries Research Institute, Australia), which collected type, in honor of the “extremely valuable fish collections made by the vessel over almost three decades”

Urolophus lobatus McKay 1966    lobed, referring to prominent lobes on front borders of internasal flap

Urolophus mitosis Last & Gomon 1987    referring to granular blotches on dorsal surface, which resemble living cells in the process of mitotic division

Urolophus neocaledoniensis Séret & Last 2003    ensis, suffix denoting place: New Caledonia, where it appears to be the most abundant and widely distributed “stingaree” in the region

Urolophus orarius Last & Gomon 1987    of the coast, referring to distribution along eastern Great Australian Bight, between Ceduna and Beachport, at depths of 20-50 m

Urolophus papilio Séret & Last 2003    butterfly, referring to particularly broad “wingspan” of disc

Urolophus paucimaculatus Dixon 1969    paucus, few; maculatus, spotted, referring to a few small white spots that sometimes appear on pectoral fins

Urolophus piperatus Séret & Last 2003    peppered, referring to dark flecks scattered on dorsal surface

Urolophus sufflavus Whitley 1929     yellowish, referring to uniform yellow-brown color of dorsal surface

Urolophus viridis McCulloch 1916    green, referring to uniform light-green color of dorsal surface

Urolophus westraliensis Last & Gomon 1987    ensis, suffix denoting place: Western Australia, specifically northwestern Australia, where it occurs on outer continental shelf


Family HEXATRYGONIDAE Sixgill Stingray

Hexatrygon Heemstra & Smith 1980    hexa-, six, referring to its six gills (all other rays have five); trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by head and pectoral fins

Hexatrygon bickelli Heemstra & Smith 1980    in honor of Dave Bickell, a former angling correspondent for the Eastern Province Herald, who discovered the first specimen washed up on the beach


Family DASYATIDAE Whiptail Stingrays
19 genera • 90 species

Subfamily DASYATINAE
8 genera • 34 species

Bathytoshia Whitley 1933    bathy, deep, presumably referring to ocean habitat of type species, Dasyatis thetidis (=B. lata), compared to riverine habitat of Hemitrygon fluviorum, which Whitley placed in a genus he called Toshia, described in the same paper; both Toshia and Bathytoshia are named after the late James R. Tosh (1872-1917), Marine Department of Queensland, who mentioned and illustrated stingrays in a report on the fishes of Moreton Bay, Australia (note: Tosh later died of heat stroke while working for the British Red Cross in Iraq)

Bathytoshia brevicaudata (Hutton 1875)    brevis, short; caudata, tailed, referring to short tail, usually shorter than disc length

Bathytoshia centroura (Mitchill 1815)    centoro, pricker; oura, tail, referring to “prickly shields or scales” on tail

Bathytoshia lata (Garman 1880)    latus, wide, referring to wider disc compared to Hypanus longus, its presumed congener at the time

Bathytoshia matsubarai (Miyosi 1939)    in honor of Kiyomatsu Matsubara (1907-1968), Imperial Fisheries Institute (Tokyo), for his “valuable advices rendered in connection” with Miyosi’s study of the elasmobranch fishes at Hyuga Nada, Japan

Bathytoshia multispinosa (Tokarev 1959)    multi-, multiple; spinosus, thorny, probably referring to three rosette-like thorns on posterior part of tail

Dasyatis Rafinesque 1810    dasys, shaggy or rough, referring to prickly skin; [b]atis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray

Dasyatis chrysonota (Smith 1828)     chryso-, gold; notus, back, referring to golden-green dorsal coloration

Dasyatis hypostigma Santos & Carvalho 2004    hypo-, ventral; stigma, mark, referring to distinctive W-shaped furrow on ventral surface behind fifth pair of gill slits

Dasyatis marmorata (Steindachner 1892)    marbled, referring to dark reticular pattern of dorsal surface

Dasyatis pastinaca (Linnaeus 1758)    presumably a Roman word for the stingray’s stinger (and applied by ancient scholars to stingrays in general), possibly alluding to similarity of stinger’s shape to pastinum, a small gardening tool used to make holes in the ground for the insertion of plants, seeds or bulbs

Dasyatis tortonesei Capapé 1975    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of Enrico Tortonése, Museum of Natural History, Genoa, Italy, whose 1956 work on Mediterranean sharks and rays is frequently cited by Capapé

Hemitrygon Müller & Henle 1838    hemi-, partial, proposed as a subgenus of Trygon (=Dasyatis)

Hemitrygon akajei (Müller & Henle 1841)   aka, Japanese for red, referring to bright orange-red underside; jei, Japanese for skate and ray

Hemitrygon bennettii (Müller & Henle 1841)    presumably in honor of zoologist Edward Turner Bennett (1797-1836), whose anonymous contributions to batoid literature in an 1830 memoir on the life of Thomas Stamford Raffles are cited several times by Müller and Henle

Hemitrygon fluviorum (Ogilby 1908)    of rivers, referring to its swimming up coastal rivers and estuaries “well above the tideway”

Hemitrygon izuensis (Nishida & Nakaya 1988)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Izu Peninsula, Japan, type locality

Hemitrygon laevigata (Chu 1960)    smooth, referring to entirely smooth dorsal surface, even in adults

Hemitrygon laosensis (Roberts & Karnasuta 1987)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Laos, referring to distribution in the Mekong River at the Laos-Thailand border

Hemitrygon longicauda (Last & White 2013)   longus, long; cauda, tail, referring to very long tail, 2.3-2.9 times width of disc

Hemitrygon navarrae (Steindachner 1892)    in honor of B. R. Navarra (possibly Bruno Navarra, Chinese-history scholar), who supplied the Imperial Court Museum of Natural History (Vienna) with fish specimens collected in Shanghai

Hemitrygon parvonigra (Last & White 2008)    parvus, little; nigra, black, referring to resemblance to a larger Australian species, Dasyatis thetidis (=Bathytoshia lata)

Hemitrygon sinensis (Steindachner 1892)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sinica (China), referring to its distribution

Hypanus Rafinesque 1818    etymology not explained, perhaps hyp[er]-, over or above, and anus, anal, referring to presence of both dorsal and anal fins on H. say, which Rafinesque compared to the lack of such fins on a ray he called Uroxys maclura (=Gymnura altavela, Gymnuridae)

Hypanus americanus (Hildebrand & Schroeder 1928)    American, probably referring to distribution off coasts of both North and South America, from Crisfield, Maryland, USA (type locality), to Brazil

Hypanus dipterurus (Jordan & Gilbert 1880)    di-, two; ptero, fin; oura, tail, referring to “conspicious cutaneous fold below [tail] and a smaller but evident one above”

Hypanus guttatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)    speckled, probably referring to black spots on dorsal surface as illustrated in Marcgrave’s Historiae naturalis brasiliae (1648)

Hypanus longus (Garman 1880)    long, compared to longer disc compared to Bathytoshia lata, its presumed congener at the time

Hypanus marianae (Gomes, Rosa & Gadig 2000)    in honor of the third author’s daughter, Mariana R. Oliveria

Hypanus rudis (Günther 1870)    rough, referring to “minute, dense asperities” on tail and dorsal surface

Hypanus sabinus (Lesueur 1824)    etymology not explained, perhaps referring to Juniperus sabina, a prostrate Eurasian evergreen juniper used in folk medicine, alluding to flattened shape of ray’s body

Hypanus say (Lesueur 1817)    in honor of naturalist Thomas Say (1787-1834), Lesueur’s friend and colleague at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia  [a noun in apposition, without the patronymic “i”]

Megatrygon Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2016    mega, large, great or mighty, referring to “massive bulk” of the “gigantic” M. microps; trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by head and pectoral fins   

Megatrygon microps (Annandale 1908)    micro-, small; ops, eye, referring to “very small” eyes

Pteroplatytrygon Fowler 1910    ptero, fin; platy, broad, referring to broad pectoral-fin disc; trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by head and pectoral fins

Pteroplatytrygon violacea (Bonaparte 1832)    purple, referring to body color

Taeniurops Garman 1913    ops, appearance, originally proposed as a subgenus of Taeniura

Taeniurops grabatus (Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1817)    bed, Latin translation of its ancient Arabic name, farch (allusion not evident)

Taeniurops meyeni (Müller & Henle 1841)    in honor of Franz Julius Ferdinand Meyen (1804-1840), physician and botanist, who presumably collected or supplied specimens

Telatrygon Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2016    telum, javelin, spear, arrow or dart, referring to long, narrowly pointed snout possessed by all members of the genus; trygon, Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by the acute shapes of the head and left and right pectoral fins    

Telatrygon acutirostra (Nishida & Nakaya 1988)    acutus, sharp; rostris, snout, referring to long snout

Telatrygon biasa Last, White & Naylor 2016    Indonesian and Malaysian word meaning “ordinary, common or normal,” referring to its frequent occurrence in local fish markets of the Western North Pacific

Telatrygon crozieri (Blyth 1860)    patronym not identified but probably in honor of anatomy and physiology professor William Crozier (d. 1862), Blyth’s colleague at (and finance chair of) the Asiatic Society of Bengal

Telatrygon microphthalma (Chen 1948)    micro-, small; ophthalmus, eye, referring to smaller eye compared to Brevitrygon imbricata and B. walga, its presumed congeners at the tme

Telatrygon zugei (Müller & Henle 1841)    zugu-ei, Japanese vernacular for this stingray

Subfamily NEOTRYGONINAE
2 genera • 12 species 

Neotrygon Castelnau 1873    neo-, new, i.e., a new genus of Trygon (=Taeniura)

Neotrygon annotata (Last 1987)    an-, not; notatus, marked, referring to lack of distinct ocelli, spots or blotches

Neotrygon australiae Last, White & Serét 2016    of Australia, referring to its Australasian distribution (Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Lombok, Indonesia)

Neotrygon caeruleopunctata Last, White & Serét 2016    caeruleus, sky blue; punctatus, spotted, referring to its blue-spotted coloration and having a wider distribution than other blue-spotted congeners

Neotrygon kuhlii (Müller & Henle 1841)    in honor of Heinrich Kuhl (1797-1821), who died while collecting fauna and flora in Java; his collections, drawings and manuscripts, housed at the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie in Leiden, provided material for Müller & Henle and other naturalists

Neotrygon leylandi (Last 1987)    in honor of Guy Leyland, for supplying most of the Australian material used in Last’s revision of the genus

Neotrygon ningalooensis Last, White & Puckridge 2010    ensis, suffix denoting place: Coral Bay, Ningaloo Marine Park, off central coast of Western Australia, type locality

Neotrygon orientalis Last, White & Serét 2016    eastern, referring to its South-East Asian distribution (Kalimantan and West Java in Indonesia, Malaysian Borneo, Philippines)   

Neotrygon picta Last & White 2008    painted or colored, referring to color pattern of peppery spots on a well-defined or weak reticulate background

Neotrygon trigonoides (Castelnau 1873)    oides, having the form of: Trygon (=Taeniura), referring to similarity of their “entire, not marginated or divided” ventral fins

Neotrygon varidens (Garman 1885)    varius, different; dens, teeth, referring to how its larger, triangular and pointed teeth on upper jaw distinguish it from other Dasybatis, its genus at time of description

Taeniura Müller & Henle 1837    taenia, ribbon; oura, tail, referring to fin fold underneath tail

Taeniura lessoni Last, White & Naylor 2016    in honor of René Lesson (1794-1849), French surgeon-naturalist, who once worked on members of this genus in Melanesia, where this species occurs

Taeniura lymma (Forsskål 1775)    Arabic name for this stingray (described from Yemen)

Subfamily UROGYMNINAE
7 genera • 38 species 

Brevitrygon Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2016    brevis, short, referring to short and semi-rigid tail of all members of the genus; trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by the acute shapes of the head and left and right pectoral fins

Brevitrygon heterura (Bleeker 1852)    heteros, different; oura, tail, referring to posterior half of tail considerably thicker in the middle compared to B. walga

Brevitrygon imbricata (Bloch & Schneider 1801)     overlapping like roofing-tiles or shingles, referring to a line of bony scales, or denticles, on shoulder and back and along tail as far as stinger

Brevitrygon javaensis (Last & White 2013)    –ensis, suffix denoting place: off the coast of Java, Indonesia, where it is endemic to the region

Brevitrygon walga (Müller & Henle 1841)    presumably a variant spelling of wolga, presumably an Indian vernacular for ray or stingray

Fluvitrygon Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2016    fluvius, river, referring to riverine distribution of all members of the genus; trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by the acute shapes of the head and left and right pectoral fins

Fluvitrygon kittipongi Vidthayanon & Roberts 2006    in honor of Bangkok aquarium fish dealer Khun Jarutanin Kittipong, who collected type

Fluvitrygon oxyrhyncha (Sauvage 1878)     oxy, sharp or pointed; rhynchus, snout, referring to elongate snout

Fluvitrygon signifer (Compagno & Roberts 1982)    signum, mark; fero, to bear, referring to milk-white spots anterior to spiracles and posterior to eyes

Fontitrygon Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2016    fontis, spring or fountain, reflecting ability of these stingrays to live in estuaries and fresh water; trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by the acute shapes of the head and left and right pectoral fins

Fontitrygon colarensis (Santos, Gomes & Charvet-Almeida 2004)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Colares Island, district of Colares (Pará State, Brazil), type locality

Fontitrygon garouaensis (Stauch & Blanc 1962)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Garoua, northern Cameroon, type locality

Fontitrygon geijskesi (Boeseman 1948)    in honor of entomologist D. C. Geijskes (1907-1985), Director, Suriname Museum, Paramaribo, who collected type and furnished Boeseman with many fishes from Suriname

Fontitrygon margarita (Günther 1870)    pearl, referring to pearl spine, a single large round tubercle, like a pearl, at center of back

Fontitrygon margaritella (Compagno & Roberts 1984)    diminutive of margarita, pearl, for overall smaller size and smaller pearl spine compared to F. margarita

Fontitrygon ukpam (Smith 1863)    local Nigerian name for freshwater stingrays

Himantura Müller & Henle 1837    himanto-, leather strap, thong or leash; oura, tail, referring to long, slender, whiplike tail

Himantura australis Last, White & Naylor 2016    southern, referring to its distribution in the tropical Southern Hemisphere   

Himantura leoparda Manjaji-Matsumoto & Last 2008      referring to leopard-like markings on dorsal surface of large specimens (>550mm disc width)

Himantura marginata (Blyth 1860)    bordered, referring to “broad dark margin” on lower part of body (except in front) “consisting of numerous large round spots”

Himantura uarnak (Gmelin 1789)    Arabic name for this stingray (also spelled arnak in some pre-Linnaean literature)

Himantura undulata (Bleeker 1852)    wavy, referring to black undulations on dorsal surface (which seems a curious description since the ray’s markings more closely resemble the spots of a leopard)

Maculabatis Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2016    macula, stain, mark or spot, referring to spotted coloration and/or black-and-white banded tail of most members of the genus; batis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray

Maculabatis ambigua Last, Bogorodsky & Alpermann 2016    uncertain or doubtful, referring to to its “uncertain species level uniqueness,” i.e., very closely resembling plain-color morphs of M. gerrardi from the northern Indian Ocean, and M. randalli from the nearby Persian Gulf, but is more closely related to white-spotted members of the genus

Maculabatis arabica Manjaji-Matsumoto & Last 2016    Arabian, referring to its distribution in the Arabian Sea, off Pakistan and eastward to nearby Gujarat Province, India    

Maculabatis astra (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Pogonoski 2008)    star or constellation, referring to dorsal coloration, “which usually consists of dark spots orbited in various ways by whitish spots, vaguely resembling a cluster of stars (most evident in larger specimens)”

Maculabatis bineeshi Manjaji-Matsumoto & Last 2016    in honor of Indian biologist K. K. Bineesh, “who has worked closely with local Indian colleagues to build a better understanding of the shark and ray fauna of the northern Indian Ocean”

Maculabatis gerrardi (Gray 1851)    in honor of Edward Gerrard, taxidermist at the British Museum (Natural History), who assisted Gray with shark and ray identifications

Maculabatis macrura (Bleeker 1852)    macro-, long; oura, tail, described as three times longer than its disc, or body

Maculabatis pastinacoides (Bleeker 1852)     oides, having the form of: referring to similarity to Dasyatis pastinaca

Maculabatis randalli (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Moore 2012)    in honor of John E. Randall, Bishop Museum (Honolulu), for “legendary” work on the taxonomy of Indo–Pacific fishes, and for being among the first to publish a photograph of this species (as H. gerrardi) in 1995      

Maculabatis toshi (Whitley 1939)    in honor of late James R. Tosh (1872-1917), Marine Department of Queensland, who figured this ray in a 1902-1903 government report (note: Tosh later died of heat stroke while working for the British Red Cross in Iraq)

Pateobatis Last, Naylor & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2016    pateo, lie open or to be exposed, referring to the “eclectic nature” (i.e., morphologically heterogeneous) members of this genus; batis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray

Pateobatis bleekeri (Blyth 1860)    in honor of Dutch medical doctor and ichthyologist Pieter Bleeker (1819-1878), whose work is frequently cited in Blyth’s study of the cartilaginous fishes of Bengal (India)

Pateobatis fai (Jordan & Seale 1906)    presumably the Samoan vernacular for this ray

Pateobatis hortlei (Last, Manjaji-Matsumoto & Kailola 2006)    in honor of Kent Hortle, “private [biological] consultant,” who supplied the first photographs of the species and later collected fresh specimens for the type series from southern Irian Jaya

Pateobatis jenkinsii (Annandale 1909)    in honor of J. Travis Jenkins, Fishery Advisor, Government of Bengal, who helped Annandale collect type

Pateobatis uarnacoides (Bleeker 1852)    oides, having the form of, referring to similarity to Himantura uarnak, its presumed congener a the time

Urogymnus Müller & Henle 1837    oura, tail; gymnos, bare or naked, referring to lack of venomous spine on tail

Urogymnus acanthobothrium Last, White & Kyne 2016    named for genus of cestode parasites, four species of which have been found on this ray (discovered during a field survey of the parasite fauna of northern Australian chondrichthyan fishes)   

Urogymnus asperrimus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)    very rough, referring to numerous large thorns covering the back and tail of adults

Urogymnus dalyensis (Last & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2008)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Daly River, Northern Territory, type locality

Urogymnus granulatus (Macleay 1883)     fine grained, referring to head and back “covered with small granules which extend on the ridge of the tail to the spine”

Urogymnus lobistoma (Manjaji-Matsumoto & Last 2006)      lobus, elongated projection or protuberance; stoma, mouth, referring to protrusible, tube-like mouth

Urogymnus polylepis (Bleeker 1852)    poly, many; lepis, scale, referring to smaller (and therefore more numerous) scales on tail compared to most congeners (then placed in Trygon) known to Bleeker   

Subfamily HYPOLOPHINAE
2 genera • 6 species 

hypo-, ventral or below; lophus, crest, referring to cutaneous fold under tail [even though Hypolophus Müller & Henle 1837 is a junior synonym of Pastinachus Rüppell 1829, Hypolophinae Stromer 1910 is the earliest subfamily proposed for this clade]

Makararaja Roberts 2007    makara, Sanskrit for crocodile but also term for cosmological arches or gateways of Hindu temples shaped like the open jaws of a crocodile, referring to jaw shape of Pastinachus and this new genus; raja, Latin for ray or skate

Makararaja chindwinensis Roberts 2007    ensis, suffix denoting place: Chindwin River, Irrawaddy basin, northern Myanmar, type locality

Pastinachus Rüppell 1829    presumably a Roman word for the stingray’s stinger (and applied by ancient scholars to stingrays in general), possibly alluding to similarity of stinger’s shape to pastinum, a small gardening tool used to make holes in the ground for the insertion of plants, seeds or bulbs

Pastinachus ater (Macleay 1883)     black, referring to “jet glossy black” coloration of entire dorsal surface 

Pastinachus gracilicaudus Last & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2010    gracilis, slender or thin; cauda, tail or appendage, referring to slender appearance of tail and narrow ventral cutaneous fold as compared to other members of the genus

Pastinachus sephen (Forsskål 1775)    Arabic vernacular, from safan, shagreen, referring to granulated skin, which is used to make leather for cases, bookbindings and other objects

Pastinachus solocirostris Last, Manjaji & Yearsley 2005    solocis, rough or bristly; rostrum, snout, referring to unusually rough texture of snout

Pastinachus stellurostris Last, Fahmi & Naylor 2010    stella, starry; rostrum, snout, referring to star-shaped denticles on snout


Family POTAMOTRYGONIDAE Neotropical Stingrays
5 genera • 34 species

Subfamily STYRACURINAE

Styracura Carvalho, Loboda & Silva 2016     styrax, spine at the butt end of a spear; oura, tail, referring to greatly elongated caudal stings

Styracura pacifica (Beebe & Tee-Van 1941)     ica, belonging to: the Pacific, referring to distribution off Pacific coast from Oaxaca, México, to Costa Rica and around the Galapagos Islands

Styracura schmardae (Werner 1904)    in honor of Austrian naturalist and traveler Ludwig K. Schmarda (1819-1908), who collected type

Subfamily POTAMOTRYGONINAE

Heliotrygon Carvalho & Lovejoy 2011     helios, sun, referring to distinctively arranged pectoral disc radials that appear to “radiate” outward; trygon, Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by head and pectoral fins

Heliotrygon gomesi Carvalho & Lovejoy 2011    in honor of Ulisses L. Gomes, a pioneer in the study of elasmobranch morphology and systematics in Brazil, and an esteemed colleague and collaborator of the first author

Heliotrygon rosai Carvalho & Lovejoy 2011    in honor of Ricardo S. Rosa (b. 1954), whose “excellent” 1985 revision of potamotrygonids “represents a landmark in our understanding of the taxonomy and diversity of this family”

Paratrygon Duméril 1865    para-, near, referring to what was perceived to be a close relationship to the catch-all stingray genus Trygon (=Dasyatis)

Paratrygon aiereba (Müller & Henle 1841)    presumably Brazilian vernacular for an unidentified species of ray; its original pre-Linnaean usage likely referred to a marine species, which the authors applied to this freshwater species

Plesiotrygon Rosa, Castello & Thorson 1987    plesio-, close; trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, i.e., “close to trygon,” referring to its possible phylogenetic position as the most primitive potamotrygonid stingray

Plesiotrygon iwamae Rosa, Castello & Thorson 1987    in honor of the late zoologist Satoko Iwama (d. 1987), Instituto de Botânica, São Paulo (Brazil)

Plesiotrygon nana Carvalho & Ragno 2011    nanus, dwarf, referring to small adult size, probably not surpassing 250 mm disc length or width        

Potamotrygon Garman 1877    potamos, river, referring to fluviatile habitat; trygon, Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by head and pectoral fins

Potamotrygon albimaculata Carvalho 2016    albus, white; maculata, spotted, referring to its conspicuous color pattern

Potamotrygon amandae Loboda & Carvalho 2013    in memory of Amanda Lucas Gimeno (1984-2006), who was an undergraduate colleague of the senior author (she died from severe head trauma when a balcony collapsed at the State University of Londrina during the first day of the 26th Brazilian Congress of Zoology)

Potamotrygon boesemani Rosa, Carvalho & Almeida Wanderley 2008    in honor of the late Marinus Boeseman (1916-2006), Leiden University, “who contributed substantially to our knowledge of both South American ichthyology (including chondrichthyans) and zoological history”

Potamotrygon brachyura (Günther 1880)    brachy, short; oura, tail, referring to tail being much shorter than body

Potamotrygon constellata (Vaillant 1880)    with star-like spots, referring to stellate-based spines on tail, which appear white on the dark skin and thus look like a “carte sidérale” (sidereal map, or map of stars)

Potamotrygon falkneri Castex & Maciel 1963    in honor of British Jesuit Tomas Falkner (1707-1784, also spelled Thomas Falconer), for his apostolic and scientific work in 18th-century Argentina 

Potamotrygon henlei (Castelnau 1855)    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of Friedrich Gustav Jacob Henle (1807-1885), German physician, pathologist and anatomist, who, along with Johann Müller (honored by Castelnau in a preceding description, now a junior synonym of P. motoro) produced the first authoritative work on elasmobranch fishes (1839-1841) and published first valid description of P. motoro in 1841

Potamotrygon histrix (Müller & Henle 1834)    porcupine, referring to stellate-based spines on dorsal surface, larger toward the middle and absent from the margins [often spelled hystrix, dating to Müller & Henle 1841]

Potamotrygon humerosa Garman 1913    humerus, high portion or apex; –osus, adjectival suffix connoting fullness or abundance, possibly referring to conspicuous dorsal tubercles on dorsal disc of holotype

Potamotrygon jabuti Carvalho 2016    Portuguese name for this species, from the Portuguese name for common land-dwelling tortoises (Testudinidae) of Brazil, referring to similarity in dorsal color, especially when disc is arched

Potamotrygon leopoldi Castex & Castello 1970    in honor of King Leopold III (1901–1983) of Belgium, sponsor of scientific studies at Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique

Potamotrygon limai Fontanelle, Silva & Carvalho 2014    in honor of “highly esteemed” Brazilian ichthyologist José Lima de Figueiredo, known as Zé Lima, who has contributed “immensely” to the development of ichthyology in South America and a “valued mentor and friend” of the authors

Potamotrygon magdalenae (Duméril 1865)    of Rio de la Magdelena, Colombia, type locality

Potamotrygon marinae Deynat 2006     in honor of Deynat’s daughter, Marina

Potamotrygon motoro (Müller & Henle 1841)     indigenous name for this ray in Cuyaba, Brazil (type locality)

Potamotrygon ocellata (Engelhardt 1912)    having little eyes, referring to numerous red spots (“eye-spots”) with black rings on dorsal surface

Potamotrygon orbignyi (Castelnau 1855)    in honor of Alcide d’Orbigny (1802-1857), “learned and intrepid traveler” (translation) and naturalist who traveled in South America, collecting thousands of specimens for the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris)

Potamotrygon pantanensis Loboda & Carvalho 2013    ensis, suffix denoting place: northern Pantanal region (Paraná-Paraguay basin), where it has been exclusively found to date

Potamotrygon rex Carvalho 2016    Latin for king, referring to its large, bulky size and striking color pattern, “king of the rio Tocantins Potamotrygon species”   

Potamotrygon schroederi Fernández-Yépez 1958    in honor of William C. Schroeder (1895-1977), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, for his contributions to the knowledge of rays

Potamotrygon schuhmacheri Castex 1964    in honor of Castex’ former high-school student and collaborator Roberto Schümacher (1947-1964), who died in an accident

Potamotrygon scobina Garman 1913    rasp, referring to “very small fine closely set stellate-based spines intermixed with larger” spines on disc and upper surface of tail

Potamotrygon signata Garman 1913    mark, referring to light and dark spots on dorsal surface and outer edge of disc

Potamotrygon tatianae Silva & Carvalho 2011    in honor of Tatiana Raso de Moraes Possato, “a late student of biology [who] was an enthusiastic researcher of chondrichthyans, in particular potamotrygonids”                 

Potamotrygon tigrina Carvalho, Sabaj Perez & Lovejoy 2011    tiger-like, referring to conspicuous dorsal disc color and vertically striped color pattern on distal tail region    

Potamotrygon wallacei Carvalho, Rosa & Araújo 2016    in honor of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), the first naturalist to collect, observe and illustrate this species while on his travels in the Rio Negro in the early 1850s

Potamotrygon yepezi Castex & Castello 1970    in honor of Agustín Fernández Yépez (1916-1977), for his contributions to Venezuelan ichthyology


Family GYMNURIDAE Butterfly Rays
1 genus • 11 species

Gymnura van Hasselt 1823    gymnos, bare; oura, tail, allusion not evident, possibly referring to lack of dorsal fin and serrated spines on tail of G. micrura

Gymnura altavela (Linnaeus 1758)    meaning unknown, perhaps alta, high; velifer, bearing a sail, referring to broad sail-like body formed by fused pectoral fins

Gymnura australis (Ramsay & Ogilby 1886)    southern, described as an Australian form of G. altavela

Gymnura crebripunctata (Peters 1869)    creber, numerous; punctatus, spotted, referring to closely arranged black dots on dorsal surface and small yellow spots on front edge of disc

Gymnura hirundo (Lowe 1843)    swallow, referring to bird-like wingspan formed by fused pectoral fins

Gymnura japonica (Temminck & Schlegel 1850)    Japanese (described from Nagasaki Bay, Japan, but occurs throughout northwestern and western Pacific)

Gymnura marmorata (Cooper 1864)     marbled, referring to finely mottled color pattern, with darker mottlings forming reticulations around pale roundish spots

Gymnura micrura (Bloch & Schneider 1801)    micro, short; oura, tail, referring to slender, short tail (about ¼ disc width)

Gymnura natalensis (Gilchrist & Thompson 1911)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Cape Natal, South Africa, type locality

Gymnura poecilura (Shaw 1804)    poecilio-, varicolored; oura, tail, referring to black and white circles or rings on tail

Gymnura tentaculata (Valenciennes 1841)    tentacled, referring to a tentacle behind each spiracle (authorship often attributed to Müller & Henle, who published Valenciennes’ description)

Gymnura zonura (Bleeker 1852)    zona, belt or girdle; oura, tail, referring to 8-10 white rings on tail behind dorsal


Family UROTRYGONIDAE Round Rays
2 genera • 17 species

Urobatis Garman 1913    oura, tail, possibly referring to blunt tail, “about as long as the body”; batis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray

Urobatis concentricus Osburn & Nichols 1916    referring to rounded pale spots on disc, which are “arranged more or less definitely in 3 concentric circles around a central one in the middle of the disc”

Urobatis halleri (Cooper 1863)    in honor of George Morris Haller (1851-1889), then the 12-year-old son of Major Granville O. Haller (1819-1897), who “was wounded on the foot, probably by one of these fish, while wading along a muddy shore” of San Diego bay

Urobatis jamaicensis (Cuvier 1816)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Jamaica, type locality (now known to occur in tropical coastal waters from North Carolina, USA, to northern South America)

Urobatis maculatus Garman 1913    spotted, referring to small black and larger brown spots

Urobatis marmoratus (Philippi 1892)    marbled, referring to distinctive color pattern, consisting of numerous small white spots on a dark background

Urobatis pardalis Moral-Flores, Angulo, López & Bussing 2015    like a leopard, referring to dorsal color pattern (brown background with orange shades and white or pale vermiculations, sometimes merging to form spots or ocelli)

Urobatis tumbesensis (Chirichigno F. & McEachran 1979)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Tumbes, Peru, type locality

Urotrygon Gill 1863    oura, tail, possibly referring to “longer tail” of U. munda compared to those of Urolophus;  trygon, ancient Greek for stingray, possibly derived from tri-, three and gonio-, angle, referring to triangular shape of some stingrays formed by head and pectoral fins

Urotrygon aspidura (Jordan & Gilbert 1882)    aspido-, shield; oura, tail, referring to 2-8 strong, broad-rooted spines on tail

Urotrygon chilensis (Günther 1872)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Chile, referring to type locality (but occurs in Eastern Pacific from Chile north to Gulf of California)

Urotrygon cimar López S. & Bussing 1998    abbreviation for Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, a research center of the Universidad de Costa Rica (where both authors work) in honor of its 20th anniversary

Urotrygon microphthalmum Delsman 1941    micro-, small; ophthalmus, eye, noticeably minute, much smaller than spiracle

Urotrygon munda Gill 1863    nice, clean or neat, allusion not explained nor evident

Urotrygon nana Miyake & McEachran 1988    nanus, dwarf, referring to small adult size, 245-250 mm TL

Urotrygon reticulata Miyake & McEachran 1988    reticulated, referring to fine tan to brownish vermiculations on dorsal surface

Urotrygon rogersi (Jordan & Starks 1895)    in honor of George Warren Rogers, “a scholarly physician,” who assisted the authors from his home in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México (type locality)

Urotrygon simulatrix Miyake & McEachran 1988    copy or imitation, referring to resemblance to U. munda in squamation and U. chilensis in morphometric characters

Urotrygon venezuelae Schultz 1949    of the Western Atlantic of Venezuela, type locality and only known distribution


Family AETOBATIDAE Pelagic Eagle Rays

Aetobatus Blainville 1816    aëtos, eagle, referring to eagle-like wingspan formed by fused pectoral fins; batis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray

Aetobatus flagellum (Bloch & Schneider 1801)    whip, referring to long whip-like tail

Aetobatus laticeps Gill 1865    latus, wide; ceps, head, referring to “rather broad” head, which “nearly equals the distance from the snout to the division between the nasal lobes”          

Aetobatus narinari (Euphrasen 1790)     Brazilian name for this ray

Aetobatus narutobiei White, Yamaguchi & Furumitsu 2013    Naru tobi-ei (pronounced “nar-oo tobee-ay”), common name for this species in Japanese waters where it is particularly common; Naru refers to Naru Island, where the species was first recorded in Japan, and tobi-ei is Japanese name used for eagle rays, which translates to black kite (a bird), referring to bird-like wingspan formed by fused pectoral fins

Aetobatus ocellatus (Kuhl 1823)     marked with spots, referring to many scattered, whitish spots on dorsal surface


Family MYLIOBATIDAE Eagle Rays
2 genera • 18 species

Aetomylaeus Garman 1908    combination of Aetobatus (Aetobatidae) and Myliobatis, referring to similarity of body and fins between the two genera

Aetomylaeus asperrimus (Waite 1909)    very rough, referring to upper surface of head and body covered with minute, usually stellate prickles

Aetomylaeus bovinus (Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1817)    bull, allusion not evident, perhaps referring to large, prominent head

Aetomylaeus caeruleofasciatus White, Last & Baje 2015    caeruleus, blue; fasciatus, banded, referring to 7-8 transverse pale blue bands on dorsal surface, a trait it shares with its closest congener, A. nichofii

Aetomylaeus maculatus (Gray 1834)    spotted, referring to dark-edged, whitish, roundish spots on dorsal surface

Aetomylaeus milvus (Valenciennes 1841)    kite (bird) or hawk, referring to bird-like wingspan formed by fused pectoral fins (authorship often attributed to Müller & Henle, who published Valenciennes’ description)

Aetomylaeus nichofii (Bloch & Schneider 1801)    apparent misspelling of nieuhofii, in honor of Johan Nieuhof (1618-1672), Dutch East India Company, whose illustration of this ray was copied by Francis Willughby in 1686, from which Bloch & Schneider’s description was based

Aetomylaeus vespertilio (Bleeker 1852)    bat, possibly referring to bat-like wingspan formed by fused pectoral fins

Myliobatis Cuvier 1816    mylios, grinder, referring to wide, flat teeth, connected together like stones in a pavement; batis, ancient Greek for a flat fish, usually applied to a skate or ray

Myliobatis aquila (Linnaeus 1758)    eagle, referring to broad eagle-like wingspan formed by fused pectoral fins

Myliobatis californica Gill 1865    ica, belonging to: California (Tomales Bay), type locality

Myliobatis chilensis Philippi 1892    ensis, suffix denoting place: Chile (Quinteros), type locality

Myliobatis freminvillii Lesueur 1824     patronym not identified, probably in honor of French naturalist Chrétien Paulin de Fréminville (1787-1848)

Myliobatis goodei Garman 1885    in honor of ichthyologist George Brown Goode (1851-1896), Assistant Secretary, Smithsonian Institution

Myliobatis hamlyni Ogilby 1911    in honor of entomologist Ronald Hamlyn-Harris (1874–1953), Director of the Queensland Museum

Myliobatis longirostris Applegate & Fitch 1964    longus, long; rostris, snout, referring to long, pointed snout, about 12% width of disc compared to 8% in M. californica

Myliobatis peruvianus Garman 1913    -anus, belonging to: Callao, Peru, type locality

Myliobatis ridens Ruocco, Lucifora, Díaz de Astarloa, Mabragaña & Delpiani 2012     laughing or smiling, referring to “peculiar countenance” caused by corners and width of mouth that resembles a smile    

Myliobatis tenuicaudatus Hector 1877    tenuis, thin; caudatus, tailed, referring to “very slender” tail

Myliobatis tobijei Bleeker 1854    tobi, black kite (a bird), Japanese name for this species, referring to bird-like wingspan formed by fused pectoral fins; jei, Japanese for skate or ray


Family RHINOPTERINAE Cownose Rays
1 genus • 8 species

Rhinoptera Cuvier 1829    rhino-, nose; ptera, fin, referring to pair of distinctive lobes (similar to a cow’s nose) on subrostral fin

Rhinoptera bonasus (Mitchill 1815)     bison, referring to how the bilobed nose resembles that of an ox

Rhinoptera brasiliensis Müller 1836     ensis, suffix denoting place: Brazil, type locality (but occurs throughout western Atlantic from North Carolina, USA, to Brazil, southwestern Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coast of Colombia)

Rhinoptera javanica Müller & Henle 1841    ica, belonging to: from Java, Indonesia, type locality (but occurs throughout Indo-West Pacific)

Rhinoptera jayakari Boulenger 1895    in honor of Surgeon-Major (and entomologist) A.S.G. Jayakar (1873-1900), who presented type to British Museum

Rhinoptera marginata (Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1817)    bordered, allusion not evident, perhaps referring to dark margin around white ventral surface

Rhinoptera neglecta Ogilby 1912    neglected, referring to type specimen (now lost) being in “such wretched condition as to preclude a more detailed description”

Rhinoptera peli Bleeker 1863    in honor of H.S. Pel, former head of the Dutch government of Cote de Guinée, whose “enlightened zeal” (translation) led to the deposition of natural history specimens at the Leyden Museum, including type of this species

Rhinoptera steindachneri Evermann & Jenkins 1891    in honor of Franz Steindachner (1834-1919), for his “valuable services to American ichthyology”


Family MOBULINAE Devil Rays
2 genera • 8 species

Manta Bancroft 1829    Spanish for blanket, reportedly a name used by pearl divers between Panama and Guayaquil to designate an enormous fish they feared could devour them after enveloping them in its vast “wings”; however, some early accounts give the name as manatia, which may be an indigenous name later abridged to manta

Manta alfredi (Krefft 1868)    in honor of Prince Albert, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900), who was visiting Sydney at the time this “royal fish” was caught and posed for photographs with it

Manta birostris (Walbaum 1792)    bi-, two; rostrum, snout, referring to two hornlike flaps (cephalic fins)

Mobula Rafinesque 1810    likely based on Raia mobular, which Rafinesque unnecessarily replaced with Mobula auriculata [for etymology, see Mobula mobular, below]

Mobula hypostoma (Bancroft 1831)     hypo-, below; stoma, mouth, referring to ventral mouth (a major diagnostic feature of Mobula)

Mobula kuhlii (Valenciennes 1841)    in honor of Heinrich Kuhl (1797-1821), who died while collecting fauna and flora in Java; his collections, drawings and manuscripts provided material for Valenciennes and other naturalists (authorship often attributed to Müller & Henle, who published Valenciennes’ description)

Mobula mobular (Bonnaterre 1788)    of uncertain origin but three explanations have been proffered: 1) derived from mobilis, mobile, referring to migratory habits; 2) since Rafinesque (1810) mentioned an Italian vernacular, Tavila cornuta (“horned table”), perhaps an allusion to what some Romance languages refer to as “moveables” or nonfixed furnishings, therefore comparing the ray to a large piece of furniture (e.g., table) that moves; 3) a name locally used in the Azores Islands

Mobula munkiana Notarbartolo-di-Sciara 1987    ana, belonging to: Walter H. Munk (b. 1917), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, “oceanographer extraordinary [sic], and friend”

Mobula tarapacana (Philippi 1892)    -ana, belonging to: 12 miles west of Iquique, Tarapacà Province, Chile, to type locality

Mobula thurstoni (Lloyd 1908)    in honor of Edgar Thurston (1855-1935), superintendent of the Government Museum, Madras, India, who provided Lloyd the opportunity to examine specimens from the museum’s collectionm