A new species of marine stingray has been described from the waters of the Indo Malay archipelago.
The new fish, which has been named Pastinachus solocirostris, has just been described by Peter Last, Mabel Manjaji and Gordon Yearsley in a paper in the systematics journal Zootaxa.
Pastinachus solocirostris is a member of the Dasyatidae family and sits in the Order Mylobatiformes.
The genus Pastinachus was previously considered to be monotypic, with a single representative species, P. sephen, occuring across a wide area of the Indo Pacific from the Red Sea to China.
However, recent studies have found a number of distinct fishes in the genus and it seems likely that many names that have previously been placed into synonymy will be raised to specific status once again.
The new ray was discovered in Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo but appears to occur mainly in muddy waters and estuaries off Borneo and Sumatra.
Unlike other members of the genus, P. solocirostris has a smaller adult size, a more elongate head and disc shape, fewer pectoral fin radials and vertebrae and a sting closer to the end of its tail.
For more details on the new stingray species see the paper: Last, PR., Manjaji, BM and GK Yearsley (2005) - Pastinachus solocirostris sp. nov., a new species of Stingray (Elasmobranchii: Mylobatiformes) from the Indo-Malay Archipelago. Zootaxa 1040: 1-16.