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Malacoraja spinacidermis (Roughskin skate)

(Barnard, 1923)

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

Malacoraja spinacidermis (Roughskin skate) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A deepwater skate with a very broad, almost pentagonal disk that is light above, abruptly dark below. Snout bluntly pointed, with a flexible tip, eyes small and close together, and pectoral disk with broadly rounded rear margins and bluntly rounded tips. Small juveniles have large thorns on shoulders, nape, and tail, but large juveniles and adults lose all their thorns and are covered only with small denticles. Colour slate-grey or grey-brown above, except rear margins of pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and claspers of adult males which are dark brown, dark brown below, sometimes with light blotches.


To 64 cm TL and 45 cm DW.


West coast from southern Namibia to Cape Town; elsewhere in the North Atlantic.



Slope at depths of 864 to 1350 m in the area, elsewhere from 1568 m.


Unknown. May be locally common.

Human Impact


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