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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 ]


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.


To 35 cm TL and 20 cm DW.


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



Upper slope on bottom at 292 to 1025 m.


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