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the web of life in southern Africa

Rajella ravidula (Smoothback skate)

(Hulley, 1970)

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

Rajella ravidula (Smoothback skate) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A long-nosed grey skate with small eyes, a thick disk, tail about as long as body, conspicuous moderate-sized light thorns in two prominent rows from shoulders to 1st dorsal fin, middorsal thorns absent or very few, thorns absent from snout. Colour medium grey to purplish-brown above, white below but dusky on disk margins, around vent, and on underside of tail.

Size

To 63 cm TL and 36 cm DW.

Range

West coast, Lu"deritz to Cape Town, elsewhere off tropical West Africa.

 

Habitat

Upper slope on the bottom at 496 to 1016 m.

Biology

Virtually unknown. Moderately common off central Namibia.

Human Impact

None.

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