Leucoraja circularis (Couch, 1838)
Sandy ray
photo by FAO

Family:  Rajidae (Skates)
Max. size:  120 cm TL (male/unsexed); 117 cm TL (female)
Environment:  demersal; depth range 70 - 676 m
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: Iceland (Ref. 12462), southern Norway, Skagerrak and Morocco, including western Mediterranean. Records as far south to Mauritania and Senegal could not be verified due to lacking descriptions and specimens; most are probably misidentifications of Leucoraja leucosticta.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. Snout short, its tip somewhat pronounced; upper surface entirely spinulose, about 8 thorns generally in a complete row around inner margin of eye and a triangle of thorns on nape or shoulder region; underside with prickles only on snout, between gill-slits, along abdomen, and at anterior margins of disc; tail only slightly longer than body; upper surface reddish-brown to dark brown with 4-6 creamy spots on each wing, underside white (Ref. 3167).
Biology:  Found in offshore shelf waters and on upper slope, mainly around the 100 m line (Ref. 3167). Depth range from 70-275 m (Ref. 03167), and from 463-676 m in eastern Ionian Sea (Ref. 56504). Feed on all kinds of bottom animals (Ref. 3167). Oviparous. Distinct pairing with embrace. Young may tend to follow large objects, such as their mother (Ref. 205). Eggs are oblong capsules with stiff pointed horns at the corners deposited in sandy or muddy flats (Ref. 205). Egg capsules are 8.3-9.2 cm long and 4.6-5.3 cm wide (Ref. 41303, 41251, 41311). Maximum length for female is 117 cm (Ref. 41333).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN); Date assessed: 30 October 2014 (A2bcd) Ref. (119314)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 13.03.93
Modified by: Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen - 21.03.06
Checked by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 06.04.94

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