Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Gymnura altavela, Spiny butterfly ray

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

spiracle - rear tentacle
tail: not barred, with spine(s)
pectoral front edge rounded

Gymnura altavela (Linnaeus, 1758)

Spiny butterfly ray

Disc rhomboidal, much wider (at least 1.5 times) than long; snout very bluntly pointed, ~7.5% of disc width; pectorals not separated from head, their edges rounded; mouth arched, no papilla on its floor; jaws with many small teeth in bands; nostrils with a broad, smooth-edged curtain before mouth; inner rear margin of spiracle with distinct tentacle; pectorals extend well behind pelvic fin origin; pelvics with one lobe; tail very short, much shorter than disc; no dorsal or tail fins, but skin folds present on its upper &/or lower surfaces; upper surface usually smooth, without denticles; 1-2 large serrated spines on tail.

Upper surface dark to light brown, with scattered small dark and light spots; lower surface white; tail of small specimens with pale cross-bars, but no bars in adult.

Reaches 260 cm disc width.

Lives on soft bottoms.

Depth range: 10-150 m.

Both sides of the Atlantic; Massachusetts to northern Argentina.


High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
Salinity
  • Marine
  • Brackish
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
Habitat
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Beach
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
Diet
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Live birth
Global Endemism
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
CITES
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 150
Length Max
  • 260