Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

External Links


Compiler and date details

23 April 2011 - Douglass F. Hoese


The order Torpediniformes contains the electric rays. They are characterised by having electric organs in the head region, capable of producing quite high voltage. As noted by Hatooka (2002), classifications of the electric rays vary considerably, with the recognition of one to four families. Bigelow & Schroeder (1953) recognised three families and provided a key to the six genera and 25 recognised species, whereas Compagno (1973), Last & Stevens (1994) and Compagno & Last (1999) recognised four families. Compagno & Heemstra (2007) reviewed the classification and recognised four families, treating the group as a suborder of the Rajiformes. Nelson (2006) recognised two families: Torpedinidae and Narcinidae with the Narcinidae divided into two subfamilies. Three families are recognised here, separating the two subfamilies of Narcinidae into families following Last & Stevens (2009).


General References

Bigelow, H.B. & Schroeder, W.C. 1953. Sawfishes, guitarfishes, skates and rays. pp. 1-514, figs 1-117 in Parr, A.E. (ed.). Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir. Sears Foundation of Marine Research 1(2): 1-599

Compagno, L.J.V. 1973. Interrelationships of living elasmobranchs. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 53(suppl. 1): 15-61 pls 1-2

Compagno, L.J.V. & Heemstra, P.C. 2007. Electrolux addisoni, a new genus and species of electric ray from the east coast of South Africa (Rajiformes: Torpedinoidei: Narkidae), with a review of torpedinoid taxonomy. Smithiana, Publications in Aquatic Biodiversity, Bulletin 7: 15-49

Compagno, L.J.V. & Last, P.R. 1999. Families Narkidae, Hypnidae, Torpedinidae. pp. 1443-1451 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Hatooka, K. 2002. Families Chlamydoselachidae, Hexanchidae, Notorynchidae, Echinorhinidae, Etmopteridae, Somniosidae, Oxynotidae, Dalatiidae, Centrophoridae, Squalidae, Squatinidae, Pristidae, Rhynchobatidae, Rhinobatidae and Torpedinidae. pp. 1443-1445 in Nakabo, T. (ed.). Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species. English edition. Tokyo : Toikai University Press pp. 867-1749.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls.

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Apr-2012 16-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
11-Mar-2010 MODIFIED