home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Neoraja stehmanni (African pygmy skate)

(Hulley, 1972)

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

Neoraja stehmanni (African pygmy skate) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A dwarf softnose skate with a bluntly pointed snout, very large close-set eyes, angular pectoral disk with rounded corners, tail longer than body in adults, large thorns around eyes, on shoulders, and in an interrupted single row from back to dorsal fins. Pectoral disk of adult males with anterior edges more undulated than females. Colour brownish grey above, with 6-7 cross bars on tail, underside pale with dark brown areas along the front and rear edges of the disk, on snout, and on underside of tail.

Size

To 35 cm TL and 20 cm DW.

Range

West coast, off Orange River mouth to south of Agulhas Bank. Endemic.

 

Habitat

Upper slope on bottom at 292 to 1025 m.

Biology

Poorly known. Common but spottily distributed.

Human Impact

Probably taken by hake trawlers.

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