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White-blotched River Stingray

White-blotched River Stingray

White-blotched River Stingray Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Potamotrygon leopoldi
  • Class

    Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
  • Order

  • Range

    This freshwater stingray is endemic to the Xingu River Basin in Northern Brazil.
  • Status

    Population size has not been established, so IUCN Red List classifies this species as “data deficient.” Although the status of this species is unknown, studies are currently underway to learn more. Due to the limited range of this species, habitat loss from gold mining, agriculture, and possible construction of dams could have a serious impact on their population. Other potential threats include human persecution out of fear of being stung as well as juveniles being collected for the ornamental fish trade.
  • Habitat

    Rock- and sand-covered river bottoms
  • Niche

    Freshwater snails and crabs are among its main food items.
  • Life History

    This species has a higher fertility compared to other freshwater stingrays. They can have as many as 12 pups in a single litter, but they average 7-8 pups per litter, about twice the amount of other stingrays.
  • Special Adaptations

    It is thought that the bright polka-dots on the black background of this species helps camouflage it in the sun-dappled streams where it lives. To stay safe, rays hide under sand or gravel, but can use their tail barb to hurt predators when threatened.


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