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the web of life in southern Africa

Torpedo cf. nobiliana (South coast torpedo)

Bonaparte, 1835

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Batoidei > Rajiformes > Torpedinoidei > Torpedinidae

Torpedo cf. nobiliana (South coast torpedo) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A large electric ray with a huge paddle-shaped caudal fin, no papillae around the spiracle, and uniform shiny black or dark grey upper surface. Underside white.


To 1.2 m TL here and 1.8 m elsewhere.


West and southeast coast, Lu"deritz, Namibia, to Mossel Bay and possibly Algoa Bay; Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.



Outer shelf and upper slope here, on or near bottom at 110 to 457 m; occurs close inshore in western north Atlantic.


Little known in the area. Can deliver a powerful shock. Probably swims well off the bottom. Eats large bottom and pelagic bony fish, and small sharks.

Human Impact

Caught by trawlers.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale