Potamotrygon sp.    Elasmobranchii (Sharks and rays) > Rajiformes (Skates and rays) > Potamotrygonidae (River stingrays) 

DISTRIBUTION: Collected in the Rio Tapajos River, Brazil.

HABITAT: The shallows of major rivers and slow-moving tributaries with substrates of mud or sand.   Lost ability to retain urea decreasing osmolarity for fresh water unlike salt water relatives.

APPEARANCE: The patterning of this “species” is highly variable, with no two examples appearing the same. Some have golden markings, while others are almost white. Similarly, the amount of darker pigmentation can also vary in both shade and coverage.

REMARKS: Consumed by native tribes of the Amazon.

Potamotrygon sp. Have a venomous barb which can cause a serious and painful wound usually in the lower leg.  (Walking with a shuffling gate in water will encourage the ray to move out of the way.)  In severe wounds symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fainting, salivation, muscle cramps, diarrhea, seizures, shock and rarely death.  Initial treatment uses hot water to help inactivate the venom and transfer to a medical facility to clean the wound and treat symptoms.

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