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the web of life in southern Africa

Rajella caudaspinosa (Munchkin skate)

(von Bonde & Swart, 1923)

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

Rajella caudaspinosa (Munchkin skate) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A small grey skate with very large, close-set bulging eyes, a very short, obtusely pointed snout, thick disk, thick tail that is much longer than body, and conspicuous light thorns that make disk and tail extremely rough. Colour light grey to brownish above, with or without darker spots, young with distinctive white-barred pattern, white below.

Size

To 58 cm TL and 32 cm DW.

Range

West coast, Lu"deritz to off Cape Agulhas. Endemic.

 

Habitat

Upper slope on the bottom at depths of 310 to 718 m.

Biology

Common. Feeds on mysids, lightfish and polychaete worms.

Human Impact

Caught by hake trawlers.

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