Gymnura poecilura   (Shaw,  1804) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Elasmobranchii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 91.5 cm -250 cm; 24-250 cm disc width

Color: The dorsal surface is brown while the underside is whitish

The body is diamond-shaped with its disc very broad and depressed and about twice as wide as long. The snout is broadly obtuse with a small projection in front. There are two large spiracles. Both these spiracles which are situated close behind the eyes, open upwards. The tail is whip-like and is more than half the disc length. A serrated spine is present close to the base of the tail. The pectoral fins are very wide and the pelvic fins are fleshy. There are no dorsal, anal or caudal fins. Body is smooth although some tubercles may be present dorsally along the middle of the back.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialized structures. Distinct pairing with embrace.

Synonym (s)
Astrape dipterygia (non Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Misapplied name)
Ceratoptera ehrenbergi (non Muller & Henle, 1841)
(Misapplied name)
Dasyatis micrura (non Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Misapplied name)
Gymnura micrura (non Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Misapplied name)
Gymnura poecilura (Shaw, 1804)
(Senior synonym)
Pteroplatea annulata Swainson, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Pteroplatea micrura (non Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Misapplied name)
Pteroplatea poecilura (Shaw, 1804)
(Senior synonym)
Raja poecilura Shaw, 1804
(Senior synonym)
Trygon kunsa (Cuvier, 1829)
(Junior synonym)
Trygon poecilurus (Shaw, 1804)
(Senior synonym)
Urogymnus poecilura (Shaw, 1804)
(Senior synonym)
Pastinaca kunsa Cuvier, 1829

Common Name (s)
• Longtailed Butterflyray (English)
• Longtail Butterfly Ray (English)
• Long Tailed Butterfly Ray (English)
• Perum Thirandi (Malayalam)
• Shveta (Marathi)
• Randgi (Marathi)
• Advani Tiriki (Sindhi)
• Tappu Cooti (Telugu)
• Tenkee Kunsul (Telugu)
• Spotted Butterfly Ray (English)
• Butterfly Ray (English)
• Slevta (Marathi)
• Advani - Tiriki (Tamil)
• Sankusa (Oriya)
• Patari
• Boor
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, utilized for its meat, but of limited value due to its typically small size.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Threatened globally due to the high level of exploitation through much of its range, its restricted habitat and declines in closely related sympatric species, such as the zonetail butterfly ray Aetoplatea zonura. The longtail butterfly ray is highly susceptible to a variety of gear types and its restricted life history limits its ability to recover from population depletion.)

Habitat:  Benthic, Demersal, Sandy, Muddy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Flatfishes, crabs and marine worms
IUCN Status:  NearThreatened


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• West Bengal, Kiagoria INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Gulf of Oman
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA (Record: 10/1999-11/2000)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Palk Bay INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA (Record: 1998)
• Kerala INDIA (Record: 1998)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA (Record: 2002-2007)
• Tamil Nadu, Athankarai INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Ghole (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Red Sea
• Tamil Nadu, Palk Bay INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Compagno, LJV; Last, PR; Stevens, JD and MNR, Alava (2005) Checklist of Philippine Chondrichthyes CSIRO Marine Laboratories 104 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Goswami, BCB (1992) Marine fauna of Digha coast of West Bengal, India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 34 115-137 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Sujatha, K (2002) Batoid fishes off Visakhapatnam, north east coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 44(1 & 2) 155-162 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Hanfee, F (1999) Management of shark fisheries in two Indian coastal states: Tamil Nadu and Kerala Case studies of the management of elasmobranch fisheries. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 378 Rome, FAO Part 1 (11) Available at -
  • Kizhakudan, SJ; Mohanraj, G; Batcha, TH and Rajapackiam, S (2010) Ray fishery by trawlers off Chennai and some aspects of biology of the scaly whipray Himantura imbricata (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Cochin 52(1) 92-95 Available at -
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Manna, B and Goswami, BCB (1985) A check-list of marine and estuarine fishes of Digha, West Bengal, India Mahasagar- Bulletin of the National Institute of Oceanography NIO, Goa 18(4) 489-499 Available at -
  • Raje, SG; Sivakami, S; Mohanraj, G; Manoj Kumar, PP; Raju, A and Joshi, KK (2007) An atlas on the Elasmobranch fishery resources of India CMFRI Special publication CMFRI, Cochin, India. 95 253pp Available at -
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at -
  • Kizhakudan, SJ; Nair, KVS and Zala, MS Demersal Finfish Resources of Gujarat Sustainable fisheries development: Focus on Gujarat 57-66 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Dholakia, AD (2004) Marine resources Fisheries and aquatic resources of India Daya publishing house 271-303 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-02

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