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the web of life in southern Africa

Narke capensis (One fin electric ray)

(Gmelin, 1789)

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

Narke capensis (One fin electric ray) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A small, yellowish brown electric ray with a single dorsal fin. Disk nearly circular, caudal fin elongated. Yellowish patches on upper tail, underside yellow with brown margins.


To 38 cm TL and about 26 cm DW, most adults smaller.


Southwest and east coast, Cape Point to central Natal; possibly also Mozambique and Madagascar.



Offshore on shelf, common on sandy and muddy bottoms from 20 to 115 m.


Common. Capable of delivering a powerful shock despite its small size. Feeds mostly on polychaetes.

Human Impact

An incidental catch of trawlers.

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