Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes
(Skates and rays) > Rajidae
Etymology: Raja: Latin, raja, -ae = a sting ray (Raja sp.) (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 17 - 462 m (Ref. 56504), usually 50 - 150 m (Ref. 27121). Subtropical; 44°N - 35°S
Eastern Atlantic: northern Portugal and throughout the Mediterranean to Madeira and South Africa. Reported from the Canary Islands (Ref. 3167) but occurrence needs verification (Ref. 6808). Also in southwestern part of the Indian Ocean.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 44 - ? cm
Max length : 63.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 39256); 59.7 cm TL (female); common length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 0. Snout short and bluntly pointed; disc angular (Ref. 5578). Upper surface prickly only in young, nearly smooth in adults, underside smooth (Ref. 3167). Upper surface ochre to reddish-brown with scattered dark spots, underside white (Ref. 3167); two bright blue eyespots centered on the pectoral bases (Ref. 5578); may have a small dark spot on tip of snout (Ref. 2708).
Found over soft bottoms of the shelf and the uppermost slope (Ref. 5578). Depth range from 17-300 m, and up to depth of 462 m in the eastern Ionian Sea (Ref. 56504). Feed on all kinds of benthic animals, also on fish offal (Ref. 5578). Oviparous. Distinct pairing with embrace. Young may tend to follow large objects, such as their mother (Ref. 205). Eggs are oblong capsules with stiff pointed horns at the corners deposited in sandy or muddy flats (Ref. 205). Egg capsules are 4.2-4.6 cm long and 2.7-2.9 cm wide (Ref. 41250). About 40-72 eggs are lain by an individual in a year (Ref. 41250). Caught by ski-boat anglers (Ref. 5578).
Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). With egg-cases laid from spring to summer (Ref. 3167). Distinct pairing with embrace. Young may tend to follow large objects, such as their mother (Ref. 205).
McEachran, J.D. and K.A. Dunn, 1998. Phylogenetic analysis of skates, a morphologically conservative clade of elasmobranchs (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae). Copeia 1998(2):271-290. (Ref. 27314)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 13.1 - 25.6, mean 17.6 (based on 383 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00224 (0.00182 - 0.00276), b=3.22 (3.17 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .