Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 3–24 | Cite as

Reproduction and development of the South American freshwater stingrays,Potamotrygon circularis and P. motoro

  • Thomas B. Thorson
  • James K. Langhammer
  • Madeline I. Oetinger
Full paper


Observations of reproductive features and body measurements were made on wild-caught, freshwater stingrays, Potamotrygon circularis and P. motoro, from the Amazon drainage of western Brazil and southern Colombia. Further observations were made in Detroit's Belle Isle Aquarium on a captive pair of P. motoro and their descendants, which constitute the first known captive breeding colony of potamotrygonids. The gross structure and function of female and male reproductive systems are described. There is no obvious difference between those of the two species. They are aplacentally viviparous, the young being nourished in advanced stages by uterine milk secreted by trophonemata. Size at onset and completion of sexual maturation, breeding season and behavior, gestation period, litter size and sex ratios are discussed. Up to 21 proportional measurements were made on several fetal and postnatal stages of both species. Several proportional changes occur in very early fetal life, but most body proportions undergo only minor changes from advanced fetal through adult stages. A growth curve is proposed for P. motoro based on observations of the captive colony.


Amazonia Batoidea Brazil Captive breeding Chondrichthyes Colombia Elasmobranchii Freshwater adaptation Growth rate Potamotrygonidae 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas B. Thorson
    • 1
  • James K. Langhammer
    • 2
  • Madeline I. Oetinger
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnU.S.A.
  2. 2.Belle Isle AquariumRoyal OakU.S.A.
  3. 3.Belle Isle AquariumBelfastU.S.A.

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