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aqua 26(23-4)_Potamotrygon

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Volume 26, Issue 3-4 – 30 November 2020

Tyson R. Roberts: The first two species of South American freshwater stingrays of the genus Potamotrygon, reported from the Orinoco Basin of Colombia by François Roulin in 1829, pp. 92-112

 

 

 

 

 

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SINGLE PAPER


Volume 26, Issue 3-4 – 30 November 2020

Tyson R. Roberts: The first two species of South American freshwater stingrays of the genus Potamotrygon, reported from the Orinoco Basin of Colombia by François Roulin in 1829, pp. 92-112

Abstract

French naturalist and explorer François Désiré Roulin (1796-1874) reported the first two known species of the freshwater potamotrygonid stingray genus Potamotrygon from the Orinoco basin, Upper Rio Meta in the Province of San Martin near Bogota, Colombia (Roulin 1829a,b). These were known to the local Indians as Pastenague or Raya tachetée, and Raya cascabel or Pastenague noire. They regarded the former as toxic and inedible, the latter as non-toxic and edible. The Pastenague noire was described and named Pastenagus humboldtii Roulin, 1829b), based on a specimen 424 mm disc width that was not kept. Roulin did not obtain any material of the Pastenague tachetée. In 1877 Garman named the genus Potamotrygon, selecting Potamotrygon humboldtii (Roulin 1829), earliest named species in the genus as its type species. At the same time he indicated Potamotrygon histrix (Müller and Henle in Valenciennes 1839, type locality Buenos Aires, Argentina) as identical with P. humboldtii. No additional specimens of P. humboldtii have been reported. Jordan selected Trygon hystrix Müller & Henle 1841 [=Trygon hystrix Müller & Henle 1839] as type species of Potamotrygon (Jordan, 1919: 389). This type species designation has been accepted by subsequent authors including Séret & McEachran, 1987: 6. At the request of the author, Heiko Bleher visited Roulin’s Orinocan collecting locality in 2015 in order to collect his two supposed species of Potamotrygon. Unfortunately, the region has now been completely destroyed by deforestation, palm oil plantations and oil drilling and Bleher was able to succeed only in obtaining a single specimen of the undescribed Pastinague tachetée. This specimen is described here as Potamotrygon roulini new species. French naturalist and explorer François Désiré Roulin (1796-1874) reported the first two known species of the freshwater potamotrygonid stingray genus Potamotrygon from the Orinoco basin, Upper Rio  Meta in the Province of San Martin near Bogota, Colombia (Roulin 1829a,b). These were known to the local Indians as Pastenague or Raya tachetée, and Raya cascabel or Pastenague noire. They regarded the former as toxic and inedible, the latter as non-toxic and edible. The Pastenague noire was described and named Pastenagus humboldtii Roulin, 1829b), based on a specimen 424 mm disc width that was not kept. Roulin did not obtain any material of the Pastenague tachetée. In 1877 Garman named the genus Potamotrygon, selecting Potamotrygon humboldtii (Roulin 1829), earliest named species in the genus as its type species. At the same time he indicated Potamotrygon histrix (Müller and Henle in Valenciennes 1839, type locality Buenos Aires, Argentina) as identical with P. humboldtii. No additional specimens of P. humboldtii have been reported. Jordan selected Trygon hystrix Müller & Henle 1841 [=Trygon hystrix Müller & Henle 1839] as type species of Potamotrygon (Jordan, 1919: 389). This type species designation has been accepted by subsequent authors including Séret & McEachran, 1987: 6. At the request of the author, Heiko Bleher visited Roulin’s Orinocan collecting locality in 2015 in order to collect his two supposed species of Potamotrygon. Unfortunately, the region has now been completely destroyed by deforestation, palm oil plantations and oil drilling and Bleher was able to succeed only in obtaining a single specimen of the undescribed Pastinague tachetée. This specimen is described here as Potamotrygon roulini new species.