Skip to main content

First record of abnormal cephalic horns in the California bat ray Myliobatis californica

  • Sergio R. Ramírez-Amaro (a1), Gerardo González-Barba (a2), Felipe Galván-Magaña (a1) and Daniel Cartamil (a3)

The first case of abnormal cephalic horns in the California bat ray, Myliobatis californica was found in one male juvenile specimen caught in a gillnet by artisanal elasmobranch fishermen on the west coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico. The specimen had three cephalic horns, two in the cephalic lobes zone and one in the rostral middle zone which could be indicative of a morphogenetic plasticity in these taxa that may have facilitated the evolution of rhinopterid and mobulid species from a common myliobatid ancestor with a similar role of feeding in Mobulidae and Rhinopteridae subfamilies.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: F. Galván-Magaña, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional, s/n Col. Playa Palo de Santa Rita, La Paz, B.C.S. 23096, México email:
Hide All
Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Torres-Villegas, J.R. (1979) Sobre un caso de bicefalia funcional en Rhinoptera steindachneri Everman y Jenkins (Chondrichtys, Elasmobranchii, Batoidei), capturado en la costa occidental de Baja California Sur, México. Ciencias Marinas 6, 2741.
Bejarano-Álvarez, O.M., Galván-Magaña, F. and Ochoa-Báez, I. (2011) Further observations on foetal abnormalities in the blue shark Prionace glauca (Chondrichtyes: Carcharhinidae) from north-west México. Marine Biodiversity Records 4, e82. DOI:
Beltrán-Félix, J.L., Hammann, G.M., Chagoya-Guzman, A. and Álvarez-Borrego, S. (1986) Ictiofauna del estero de Punta Banda, Ensenada Baja California, México, antes de una operación de dragado. Ciencias Marinas 12, 7992.
Cailliet, G.M. and Smith, W.D. (2006) Myliobatis californicus. In IUCN (2011) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Available at: (accessed 1 January 2013).
Casarini, L.M., Gomes, U.L. and Tomas, A.R.G. (1997) Would Santos harbor dredged material dumping be a reason of teratogeny on Raja agassizi? In Congresso Latino-Americano sobre Ciencias do Mar Colacmar. Caderno de Resumos 7. Santos: SBEEL, pp. 152153.
De Jesús-Roldan, M. (1990) An albino bat ray Myliobatis californica, from the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, México. California Fish and Game 76, 126127.
Devadoss, P. (1983) On some specimens of abnormal elasmobranchs. Matsya 9/ 10, 486488.
Ebert, D.A. (2003) Sharks, rays and chimeras of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Escobar-Sánchez, O., Galván-Magaña, F., Downton-Hoffmann, C.A., Carrera-Fernández, M. and Alatorre-Ramírez, V.G. (2009) First record of a morphological abnormality in the longtail stingray Dasyatis longa (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Marine Biodiversity Records 2, e26. DOI:
Heupel, M.R., Simpfendorfer, C.A. and Bennet, M.B. (1999) Skeletal deformities in elasmobranchs from Australian waters. Journal of Fish Biology 54, 11111115.
Galván-Magaña, F., Escobar-Sánchez, O. and Carrera-Fernández, M. (2011) Embryonic bicephaly in the blue shark, Prionace glauca, from the Mexican Pacific Ocean. Marine Biodiversity Records 4, e1. DOI:
Garman, S. (1913) The Plagiostoma. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 136, 1515.
Gray, A.E., Mulligan, T.J. and Hannah, R.W. (1997) Food habits, occurrence, and population structure of the bat ray, Myliobatis californica, in Humboldt Bay, California. Environmental Biology of Fishes 49, 227238.
Mancini, P.L., Casas, A.L. and Amorim, A.F. (2006) Morphological abnormalities in a blue shark Prionace glauca (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae) foetus from southern Brazil. Journal of Fish Biology 69, 18811884.
Martin, L.K. and Cailliet, G.M. (1988) Aspects of the reproduction of the bat ray, Myliobatis californica, in Central California. Copeia 1988, 754762.
McEachran, J.D. and Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G. (1995) Batoideos. In Fischer, W., Krupp, F., Schneider, W., Sommer, C., Carpenter, K.E. and Niem, V.H. (eds) Guía FAO para la identificación de especies para los fines de la pesca centro oriental. Rome: FAO, pp. 745792.
Mejía-Falla, P.A., Navia, A.F. and Muñoz, L.A. (2011) First record of morphological abnormality in embryos of Urotrygon rogersi (Jordan and Starks, 1895) (Myliobatiformes: Urotrygonidae) in the Tropical Eastern Pacific. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research 39, 184188.
Miller, D.J. and Lea, R.N. (1972) Guide to the coastal marine fishes of California. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Fish and Game.
Miyake, T., McEachran, J.D., Walton, P.J. and Hall, B.K. (1992) Development and morphology of rostral cartilages in batoid fishes (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea), with comments on homology within vertebrates. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 46, 259298.
Ramírez-Amaro, S.R. (2011) Caracterización de la pesquería artesanal de elasmobranquios en la costa occidental de Baja California Sur, México. MS thesis. CICIMAR, La Paz, B.C.S., México.
Rubio-Rodríguez, U., Navarro-González, J.A. and Vergara-Solana, F. (2011) First record of black mucus and ocular malformations in the round stingray Urobatis halleri (Rajiformes: Urotrygonidae) at the southern Gulf of California, Mexico. Marine Biodiversity Records 3, e17. DOI:
Sandoval-Castillo, J., Mariano-Meléndez, E. and Villavicencio-Garayzar, C. (2006) New records of albinism in two elasmobranchs: the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier and the giant electric ray Narcine entemedor . Cybium 30, 191192.
Sasko, D.E., Dean, M.N., Motta, P.J. and Hueter, R.E. (2006) Prey capture behavior and kinematics of the Atlantic cownose rays, Rhinoptera bonasus . Zoology 109, 171181.
Somasekharan-Nair, K.V. and Chellam, A. (1971) Abnormal sting-ray caught off Calicut. Indian Journal of Fisheries 18, 193195.
Templeman, W. (1965) Some abnormalities in skates (Raja) of the Newfoundland area. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 22, 237238.
Villavicencio-Garayzar, C.J. (1996) Size, sex and reproduction of Myliobatis californica and Myliobatis longirostris (Pisces: Myliobatidae) in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Revista de Biología Tropical 44, 291295.
Wilga, C.D., Motta, P.J. and Sanford, C.P. (2007) Evolution and ecology of feeding in elasmobranchs. Integrative and Comparative Biology 47, 5569.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Marine Biodiversity Records
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1755-2672
  • URL: /core/journals/marine-biodiversity-records
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed