Stirring, charging, and picking: hunting tactics of potamotrygonid rays in the upper Paraná River

Hunting tactics of potamotrygonid freshwater rays remain unreported under natural conditions. Three main foraging tactics of Potamotrygon falkneri and P. motoro are described here based on underwater observations in the upper Paraná River. Both species displayed similar behaviors. The most common tactic was to undulate the disc margins close to, or on, the bottom and thus stirring the substrate and uncovering hidden preys. Another tactic was to charge upon prey concentrated in the shallows. The least common tactic was to pick out prey adhered to the substrate. The first tactic is widespread in several species of marine rays in the Dasyatidae, whereas the remainder (especially picking up prey on substrata above water surface) may be restricted to the Potamotrygonidae.

Potamotrygonidae; Potamotrygon falkneri; Potamotrygon motoro; Variable hunting tactics; Southwestern Brazil


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