Tasmanian Numbfish, Narcinops tasmaniensis Richardson 1841

Other Names: Electric Ray, Electric Torpedo, Ground Shark, Little Numbfish, Numbfish

A Tasmanian Numbfish, Narcinops tasmaniensis, at Tranmere, Derwent River, Tasmania, depth 10 m. Source: Will White. License: All rights reserved

A medium-sized numbfish common throughout its range. Produces a much smaller shock than Coffin and Torpedo rays.

Cite this page as:
Tara Hicks, Narcinops tasmaniensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3280

Tasmanian Numbfish, Narcinops tasmaniensis Richardson 1841

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This species occurs from Coffs Harbour in New South Wales to Eyre in Western Australia, including around Tasmania. Off Tasmania it occurs to the continental shelf rarely exceeding 100 metres. Occurs mainly on the continental slope further north in it's distribution, occurring at 200-640 metres in depth.


Body depressed; subcircular disc with a broadly rounded apex with concave margins, widest close to point of pectoral fin insertion. Medium sized eye. Skin smooth, frequently creased, lacking denticles or thorns. Tail tapering gradually, about 1.25 times precloacal length. First and second dorsal fin upright, about equal in size.Caudal fin broadly rounded. Pelvic fins narrow and broad.


Length is 9-12 cm at birth. Can reach at least 47 cm total length. Males reach maturity at approximately 20 cm, females approximately 21 cm


Chocolate brown upper surface, fins paler brown. Ventral surface white, sometimes with a few dark blotches. Juveniles frequently have blotches on dorsal surface of disc and at base of dorsal fin, and a dark median stripe.


Gives birth to live young, litters range in size from 1 to 8 pups.

Species Citation

Narcine tasmaniensis Richardson 1841 Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1841 (9): 22, Port Arthur, Tasmania.


Tara Hicks

Tasmanian Numbfish, Narcinops tasmaniensis Richardson 1841


Last, P.R & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and rays of Australia.Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing Australia

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37028002

Behaviour:To 640 m

Max Size:47 cm TL

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