Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Torpediniformes
(Electric rays) > Torpedinidae
Etymology: Torpedo: Latin, torpere = be sluggish (Ref. 45335); californica: Named after the state of California (Ref. 6885). More on author: Ayres.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; demersal; depth range 0 - 906 m (Ref. 96339), usually 3 - 200 m (Ref. 55307). Temperate; 48°N - 23°N, 126°W - 110°W (Ref. 55307)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 73 - ? cm
Max length : 140 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12951); 137.0 cm TL (female); common length : 91.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 43939); common length :137 cm TL (female); max. published weight: 0.00 g; max. reported age: 16 years (Ref. 48844)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Gray with scattered black spots dorsally, no ocelli. 1st dorsal fin much larger than 2nd. Spiracle margin smooth and without papillae.
Eastern Pacific: Dixon Entrance, British Columbia, Canada to Sebastian Vizcaino Bay, Baja California, Mexico. Electric rays off Peru, Chile, and Japan may belong to this species (Ref. 2850).
Found on the outer continental shelf, around rocks, in kelp beds, over fine sand bottoms or buried in sand. Solitary, nomadic, and can remain suspended in the water with minimal swimming (Ref. 12951). Feeds on bony fishes, mainly herrings and halibuts. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Attacks their prey from the substratum by day and actively forage at night with the aid of its electric organ discharge or EOD (Ref. 10011). The EOD of a large individual was measured at 50 V; with a low internal organ resistance the power output exceeded 1 kW (Ref. 10480). Aggressive when provoked but no human has yet been injured by the electric shock (Ref. 2850). Does not do well in aquariums (Ref. 12951).
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 (Ref. 50449).
Reproductive cycle appears to be annual in males and biannual in females (Ref. 48844). No defined birthing season (Ref. 48844).
Allen, M.J. and G.B. Smith, 1988. Atlas and zoogeography of common fishes in the Bering Sea and northeastern Pacific. NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS 66, 151 p. (Ref. 6793)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00792 - 0.03811), b=2.92 (2.72 - 3.12), based on LWR estimates for this Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.80 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec = 17).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (78 of 100) .