Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes
(Skates and rays) > Rajidae
Etymology: Leucoraja: Greek, leykos = white + Latin, raja = a fish, Raja sp. (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; demersal; depth range 20 - 500 m, usually 20 - 250 m (Ref. 11284). Subtropical; 60°N - 15°N, 18°W - 36°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 60.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 71.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 41333); 68.0 cm TL (female); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3261)
soft rays: 0. Snout short; upper surface entirely spinulose, but centre of pectoral fins more or less bare in adults, underside smooth except for prickly front edges; generally 9-13 thorns in a complete row around inner margin of eye, and a large triangle of thorns on nape or shoulder region; two parallel rows of strong thorns on each side of midline along tail; upper surface ochre to light greyish-brown with a large roundish black eye-spot in middle of each pectoral fin, underside white (Ref. 3167)
Eastern Atlantic: Kattegat (Ref. 3167) and North Sea, around Great Britain, Ireland and the Mediterranean to Morocco and Senegal.
Feed on all kinds of bottom animals (Ref. 3167). 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 5.0-7.0 cm long and 3.1-3.9 cm wide (Ref. 41250). Around 70-150 eggs are laid per individual annually (Ref. 41250).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). 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. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00245 (0.00143 - 0.00420), b=3.22 (3.08 - 3.36), based on LWR estimates for species & Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.11-0.16; tm=8-9; tmax=28; Fec<100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (62 of 100) .