Pacific Electric Ray

Electric Rays: Family Torpedinidae Species: Torpedo californica; (Ayres, 1855); from the Greek word torpedo (for numbness—from the electric shock) and californica (for California, where the first specimens were taken). Alternate Names: Torpedo ray, numbfish, crampfish or torpedo. Called torpedo del Pacifico or torpedo in Mexico.…

Thornback Ray

Thornbacks: Family Platyrhinidae Species: Platyrhinoidis triseriata (Jordan & Gilbert, 1880); from the Greek words platys (flat and broad), rhin (shark with a rough skin), oid (like) and is (similar), and the Latin words tri (three) and seriat (rows, in reference to the three rows of…

Big Skate

Skates: Family Rajidae Species: Raja binoculta (Grard, 1855); from the Latin words raja (skate), bi (two), and oculata (eyed, referring to the markings on top of the skate). Alternate Names: Skate, barndoor skate, and Pacific great skate. Called raya gigante or raya bruja gigante in…

Round Stingray

Stingrays: Family Dasyatididae Species: Urobatis halleri (Cooper, 1863); Urobatis comes from two Greek words meaning tail and ray; halleri is from George Haller (1852-1889). Alternate Names: Stingray, stingaree or stinger. Called raya de espina, raya redonda común, or raya redonda de aguijón in Mexico. Called…

California Butterfly Ray

Species: Gymnura marmorata (Cooper, 1864); from the Greek word gymnos (bare) and the Latin word marmoratus (marbled). Alternate Names: stingray, butterfly stingray, eagle ray, diamond ray or butterfly ray. In Mexico it’s called raya mariposa de California. In Denmark it’s apparently called Californisk sommerfuglerokke; not…

Shovelnose Guitarfish

Guitarfishes: Family Rhinobatidae Species: Rhinobatos productus (Ayres, 1854); from the Latin word rhin (shark with a rough skin) and the Greek word batis (a ray or skate), and the Latin word product (a lengthened form, in reference to its long shape and form). Alternate Names:…

Bat Ray

Eagle Rays: Family Myliobatididae Species: Myliobatis californica (Gill, 1865); from the Greek words myl (a tooth or molar), io (an arrow or poison), batis (a skate or ray) and the Latin word Californica (referring to location). Apparently called aetobatus californica at one time in California:…