Tag Archives: Potamotrygon

Potamotrygon orbignyi BRED and P. sp. Mantilla PERU

24. February 2020

For the first time we can offer a good number of German offspring of the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon orbignyi. Because of the extreme variability in colour this species, which was already scientifically described in 1855, is difficult to determine. The type specimen that Castelnau had at hand came from the Rio Tocantins in Brazil. As there are rays of this type in practically the whole of tropical South America east of the Andes, the question now is whether they all represent the same species, or whether they are in fact not just similar-looking but different animals.

The offsprings now show very nicely that the high colour variability, which is observed in imports, also occurs in the offsprings. From strongly patterned to almost monochrome ochre-coloured animals everything is represented. As a constant colour feature, a dark line behind the spiracle (i.e. the gill opening on the backside) shows up; possibly this inconspicuous detail plays a bigger role in the determination than was previously thought. After all, this colour feature is also visible in the drawing of the type specimen from 1855, which, as a dry preparation, hardly shows any colour features.

We got one single specimen of an extremely unusual ray from Peru; it is a female. In terms of colour, it is completely similar to a ray that is called P. sp. Mantilla and that we previously received from Paraguay (https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/potamotrygon-sp-mantilla-ray-en/). It may be a rare colour variation of the Potamotrygon tatianae, which was described in 2011 (this species was usually assigned to P. castexi before it was described and exported from Peru as “Otorongo” or “Tigrillo” ray). In any case this beautiful animal is a fish for people with a thirst for research and a very large aquarium, because it can be expected that the animal will reach a good 60 cm disc diameter.

Potamotrygon orbignyi belongs to the comparatively smaller species and reaches “only” about 35 cm disc diameter.

For our customers: the offspring of P. orbignyi have code 282673 and the Mantilla Ray code 282534 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Potamotrygon wallacei

29. March 2018

This freshwater stingray lives endemically in the Rio Negro system in Brazil and is or was the most often imported species of Potamotrygon from Brazil at all. However until recently they fish were wrongly identified as P. histrix, a different species that is not kept in aquaria at all and occurs in southern South America. The type specimen of P. histrix was collected in Argentina. In fact P. wallacei – which is collected usually around Barcelos for aquarium purposes – is the best suited species of Potamotrygon for private aquaria, because it is the smallest species of the genus Potamotrygon at all. The disc diameter hardly ever exceeds 30 cm in this species. This means that P. wallacei also needs large tanks, but most of the remaining species of freshwater stingray become at least double as large, many even much larger.

Since january 2017 all species of Potamotrygon from Brazil and Colombia have to be exported only with CITES certificates, for these countries have placed the fish on appendix III of CITES. Although this means that the species can still be traded the situation is insofar unsatisfying for breeders of Potamotrygon as they now have to witness that their bred specimens are not descendends from illagal imported fish from Brazil or Colombia when the breeders want to export their animals out of the EU. Most bred specimens, however, do not stay in the EU because the market here is much too small.

Finally we were able now to import a number of P. wallacei from Brazil again. It took about one year for the authorities to react on the new situation and to supply the ornamental fish exporters with the CITES certificates needed for legal exportations.

For our customers: the animals have code 282202 (10-12 cm) and 282203 (12-15 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer