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Rostroraja alba  (Lacepède, 1803)

White skate
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
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Rostroraja alba   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Rostroraja alba (White skate)
Rostroraja alba
Picture by FAO

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes (Skates and rays) > Rajidae (Skates)
Etymology: Rostroraja: Latin, rostrum = beak + Latin, raja, -ae = a sting ray (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; demersal; depth range 30 - 600 m (Ref. 6808), usually 50 - 500 m (Ref. 26999).   Subtropical; 56°N - 37°S, 19°W - 23°E

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 230 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 11284); 202.0 cm TL (female)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

A giant skate with a broad-based, abruptly narrow-tipped snout covered with small, sharp thorns; pectoral disc angular, and no thorns on nape or back, but three rows of large thorns on tail (Ref. 5578). Larger immature and adult individuals grey with numerous small white spots above, underside white with no black pores; hatchlings plain reddish-brown above, often with blue spots, and white below with broad dusky grey margins on disc (Ref. 5578).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: Ireland and England southward round the Cape (South Africa) to central Mozambique (Ref. 5578), including western Mediterranean (to Tunisia and western Greece).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabit shelf and slope waters (Ref. 4426). Found on sand and rock-sand bottom (Ref. 6808). A bottom-predator of bony fishes, other elasmobranchs, fish offal, crabs, shrimps, mysids, octopi, and cuttlefish (Ref. 5578). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 4426. Maximum length for female is 202 cm (Ref. 41333). 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 12.5-18.3 cm long and 10.0-13.9 cm wide (Ref. 41250). About 55-156 eggs are produced per individual annually (Ref. 41250).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : McEachran, John | Collaborators

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.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Endangered (EN) (A2cd+4cd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 5578)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00309 (0.00141 - 0.00678), b=3.23 (3.05 - 3.41), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.4   ±0.83 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec=55).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (84 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.