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the web of life in southern Africa

Amblyraja robertsi (Bigmouth skate)

(Hulley, 1906)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Batoidei > Rajoidei > Rajidae

Amblyraja robertsi (Bigmouth skate) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A large dark deepwater skate with a stiff, bluntly triangular snout, huge mouth almost equal to snout length, tail shorter than body, and smooth disk except for large star-based thorns around eyes, on shoulders, and along midline of back and tail. Colour dark grey above and below, white blotches on underside.

Size

To at least 77 cm TL and 56 cm DW (adolescent male).

Range and Habitat

West coast off Cape Town in deep water, slope at 1350 m depth on bottom. Endemic.

 

Biology

Unknown. Only a single specimen collected, more wanted.

Human Impact

None.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale