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Dipturus pullopunctata (Graybelly or slime skate)

(Smith, 1964)

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

Dipturus pullopunctata (Graybelly or slime skate) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A strikingly two-toned longnosed skate, warm brown above and abruptly dark grey below, with a conspicuous large dark brown blotch on the upper base of each pectoral fin. Snout moderately elongated and bluntly triangular, pectoral disk with broadly rounded corners, and tail stout, not conspicuously swollen, and about equal to body length. Thorns present at nape and along midline of back and tail to first dorsal fin, nape spine enormous in young; underside of disk not covered with small denticles. Conspicuous wide-spaced black spots on upper disk of hatchlings and juveniles, inconspicuous or lost on adolescents and adults, numerous small white spots sometimes present in adults; undersurface with numerous black-pigmented pores.

Size

To over 1.3 m TL and 94 cm DW.

Range

West and southeastern coast, Lu"deritz, Namibia, to Port Alfred. Endemic.

 

Habitat

Found on soft substrates on the outer shelf and upper slope on bottom at 50 to 457 m.

Biology

Common. Feeds on bony fish, including jacopever, horsefish, beaked sandfish, greeneyes, sandrat, lanternfish, gurnards, dragonets, and monkfish, and crabs, shrimp, mysids, mantis shrimp, euphausiids, bivalves, and cuttlefish. This skate is extremely slimy when captured, more so than other local skates.

Human Impact

A common catch of hake trawlers.

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