AskDefine | Define numbfish

Dictionary Definition

numbfish n : any sluggish bottom-dwelling ray of the order Torpediniformes having a rounded body and electric organs on each side of the head capable of emitting strong electric discharges [syn: electric ray, crampfish, torpedo] [also: numbfishes (pl)]

Extensive Definition

The numbfishes are a family, Narcinidae, of rays.
They are disc-shaped fishes, with a prominent caudal fin. They are bottom-dwelling fishes found in shallow waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
They have electric organs in their head, used for sensing and for stunning prey. The electric shock that they can deliver gives them their name, from Greek narke meaning "paralysis". Narcinids don't generate such powerful voltages as the electric rays in the genus Torpedo, but have been measured at 8 to 37 volts.


In some systems Narcinidae is split into two, with the genera Narke, Typholonake, and Temera in the family Narkidae.


There are about forty species in nine genera:


numbfish in German: Narcinidae
numbfish in French: Narcinidae
numbfish in Lithuanian: Azijinės elektrinės rajos
numbfish in Polish: Narcinidae
numbfish in Chinese: 双鳍电鳐科
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