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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 ]


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.


To 63 cm TL and 36 cm DW.


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



Upper slope on the bottom at 496 to 1016 m.


Virtually unknown. Moderately common off central Namibia.

Human Impact


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