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Narcinidae (Numbfishes)

Species Currently in the DFL

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Narcine brasiliensis
Brazilian Electric Ray
About This Family
Marine. Tropical to warm temperate waters.
Numbfishes, also known as electric rays, have stout jaws, a flat and rounded disc composed of the head, and two large dorsal fins. They occur worldwide in tropical to warm temperate waters, mostly in sandy and muddy areas.

A distinctive feature of the Numbfishes is their powerful electric organs that stem from the branchial muscles and can be seen on either side of the head. These electric organs are used as a weapon to stun prey or defend predators. Other characteristics include small eyes, denticles absent, soft and loose skin, and rostrum present.

There are two subfamilies, Narcininae (numbfishes) and Narkinae (sleeper rays). The numbfishes possess a deep groove around mouth and lips, whereas the sleeper rays have a shallow groove around mouth and a narrower rostrum.

The family consists of 9 genera with at least 37 species.

Nelson 2006; Allen & Robertson 1994
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