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the web of life in southern Africa

Rajella dissimilis (Ghost skate)

(Hulley, 1970)

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

Rajella dissimilis (Ghost skate) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A grey skate with a moderately long snout, small eyes, flat disk, tail about as long as body, moderately large inconspicuous light thorns on upper surface, with a few on snout, and middorsal line of thorns reduced in adults and subadults. Colour whitish-grey to dark grey above, white below, with dark rear margins and dark patches on underside of tail.

Size

To 64 cm long and 39 cm wide.

Range

West coast from Orange River mouth to Cape Town. Endemic.

 

Habitat

An uncommon deepwater skate found at depths of 719 to 1016 m.

Biology

Virtually unknown. Eats cephalopods, mysids, and small bony fish.

Human Impact

Not utilized.

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