Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The diet of the coffin ray, Hypnos monopterygius (Shaw, 1795), and predation mode inferred from jaw, dentition and electric organ morphology

A.-M. Frost A , I. P. Jacobsen A and M. B. Bennett A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: m.bennett@uq.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 68(6) 1193-1198 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16200
Submitted: 2 June 2016  Accepted: 8 August 2016   Published: 26 September 2016

Abstract

The diet of the coffin ray, Hypnos monopterygius (Family Hypnidae), an electric ray endemic to Australia, was described on the basis of stomach contents analysis. Benthos-associated teleost fishes and cephalopod molluscs, predominantly Octopus, dominated the diet. The large, paired electric organs of this species scaled close to isometrically in relation to body mass for electric-organ area and electric-organ mass. The number of electrocyte columns that comprise each electric organ (mean = 435 columns) was independent of body mass. Jaws were long and slender, and supported small tricuspidate teeth only on the central 55% of their length. Diet, electric-organ size and jaw morphology in Hypnos and the torpedoes (Family Torpedinidae) are similar, but in marked contrast to members of the numbfishes (Family Narcinidae). The differences are interpreted in relation to the use of electric-organ discharge while foraging in the former families.

Additional keywords: electric ray, Hypnidae, teeth, Torpediniformes.


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