Foreign stingers: South American freshwater river stingrays Potamotrygon spp. established in Indonesia
The pet trade is known to be one of the most important pathways of aquatic non-native species introduction and Indonesia is a significant trade partner. Popular ornamental South American river stingrays (Potamotrygon spp.) were introduced to Indonesia in the 1980s and the culture was established. Here we present a detailed Indonesian market and aquaculture survey, the volume of trade between January 2020 and June 2022, and the list of customer countries with the total amount of imported stingrays. Climate similarities between the native range of P. motoro and P. jabuti and Indonesia were analysed. A significant number of areas of Indonesian islands were identified as suitable for the establishment of this species. This was confirmed by the first record of probably established populations in the Brantas River (Java). In total 13 individuals including newborns were captured. The culture of potamotrygonid stingrays is unregulated in Indonesia, and the risk of the establishment of this predator and its potential spread is alarming for wildlife. Moreover, the first case of envenomation caused by Potamotrygon spp. in the wild outside of South America was recorded. The current condition is predicted as the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and continuous monitoring and mitigation of risks are strongly recommended.
Jerikho, R., Akmal, S., Hasan, V., Yonvitner., Novák, J., Magalhães, A., Maceda-Veiga, A., Tlusty, M., Rhyne, A. L., Slavík, O., & Patoka, J. (2023). Foreign stingers: South American freshwater river stingrays Potamotrygon spp. established in Indonesia. Scientific Reports, 13 (1) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-34356-9