Spotted Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema timorensis Last 2004

Holotype of the Spotted Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema timorensis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A small brownish shovelnose ray covered in small pale spots with a narrow and very pointed snout. This rare species is only known to occur in the Timor Sea.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Aptychotrema timorensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Jul 2022,

Spotted Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema timorensis Last 2004

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Houtman Abrohlos, Western Australia, to the Timor Sea, north of Bathurst Island, Northern Territory. Depth range 66-200 m, mostly above 150 m.


Vertebrae ~165.
Disc wedge-shaped, snout very long, triangular; nostrils narrow; mouth arched strongly forward. Disc thin, length 1.3 times width with strongly concave anterior margins and broadly rounded outer corners. Snout sharply pointed, angle about 52 deg; orbit small, wider than interorbital space. Rostral ridges narrowly separated; no fleshy folds on spiracle.
Tail 1.1 times longer than disc; dorsal fins widely spaced with angular tips.
Skin uniformly granular; thorns strong, slightly compressed; 2 short thorns before eye; 3-4 thorns near spiracle; ~27 widely spaced thorns along midline of disc and predorsal tail; sometimes 2 large thorns on tip of snout and some on shoulder. 


Covered in small widely-spaced dark-edged pale spots that are smaller than the eye diameter, and extend onto the caudal fin. Some larger spots are arranged in pairs (one spot on each shoulder, and spots on either side of the middle of the back). Underside uniformly pale.

Similar Species

Differs from other species in the genus in a number of measurements, and in having a narrower snout apex, fewer caudal vertebrae, and white spots on the dorsal surface.


The species is named timorensis for the type locality, the Timor Sea.

Species Citation

Aptychotrema timorensis Last 2004, Rec. Aust Mus. 56: 203, figs 1-2. Type locality: Timor Sea, off Melville Island (Northern Territory), depth about 120 m.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Spotted Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema timorensis Last 2004


Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. (as Aptychotrema sp.)

Last, P.R. 2004. Rhinobatos sainsburyi n.sp. and Aptychotrema timorensis n.sp. —two new shovelnose rays (Batoidea: Rhinobatidae) from the Eastern Indian Ocean. Records of the Australian Museum 56(2): 201-208 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1415

Last, P.R., Kyne, P.M. & Sherman, C.S. 2015. Aptychotrema timorensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T60179A68609203. Downloaded on 10 January 2018.

Last, P.R. & Séret, B.. 2016. 12 Banjo Rays Family Trygonorrhinidae (pp. 117-126), in Last, P.R., White, W.T., de Carvalho, M.R., Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & Naylor, G.J.P. (eds) Rays of the World. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing, 800 pp.

Last, P.R., Séret, B. & Naylor, G.J.P. 2016. A new species of guitarfish, Rhinobatos borneensis sp. nov. with a redefinition of the family-level classification in the order Rhinopristiformes (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea). Zootaxa 4117(4): 451-475

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. (as Aptychotrema sp. A)

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. 

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Aptychotrema sp. 2)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37027007

Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable

Depth:100-183 m

Max weight:58 cm TL


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