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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Torpedo (Torpedo) torpedo (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: first dorsal fin only slightly larger than second; distance from origin of first dorsal fin to midpoint of hind margin of caudal fin distinctly more than one-third total length of fish. Two large nuchal pores side by side. Spiracles with small tentacles (papillae) of varying lengths on margins. Colour: uniform dark or light brown above, sometimes indistinctly mottled, with five (sometimes fewer) large blue-centred eye-spots on disc; underside white to cream. Size: to about 60 cm, usually about 30-40 cm

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms, usually inshore, but also down to 70 m or occasionally deeper. Food: seems to prefer small fishes, but also takes benthic invertebrates. Reproduction: ovoviviparous; gestation from March to September, when 3-21 juveniles of 8-10 cm TL are set free, depending on size of female (Mediterranean data).

Distribution: northward to southern Bay of Biscay (records as far north as Belgium questionable), also whole of Mediterranean (but common mainly along North African coast). Elsewhere, south to Angola, most common in tropical waters.

Complementary iconography. D'Ancona, 1931: pl. 32 | Bini, 1967: 129-130, fig.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Ranzi, 1934: 336-339, 359-364 | Quignard & Capapé. 1974: 99, 5 fig.

Common torpedo (Torpedo torpedo)