Rostroraja alba (Lacepède, 1803)
White skate
Raya picuda
Rostroraja alba
photo by Østergaard, T.

Family:  Rajidae (Skates), subfamily: Rajinae
Max. size:  230 cm TL (male/unsexed); 202 cm TL (female)
Environment:  demersal; depth range 30 - 600 m
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: Ireland and England southward round the Cape (South Africa) to central Mozambique (Ref. 5578), including western Mediterranean (to Tunisia and western Greece).
Diagnosis:  A giant skate with a broad-based, abruptly narrow-tipped snout covered with small, sharp thorns; pectoral disc angular, and no thorns on nape or back, but three rows of large thorns on tail (Ref. 5578). Larger immature and adult individuals grey with numerous small white spots above, underside white with no black pores; hatchlings plain reddish-brown above, often with blue spots, and white below with broad dusky grey margins on disc (Ref. 5578).
Biology:  Inhabit shelf and slope waters (Ref. 4426). Found on sand and rock-sand bottom (Ref. 6808). A bottom-predator of bony fishes, other elasmobranchs, fish offal, crabs, shrimps, mysids, octopi, and cuttlefish (Ref. 5578). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 4426. Maximum length for female is 202 cm (Ref. 41333). 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 12.5-18.3 cm long and 10.0-13.9 cm wide (Ref. 41250). About 55-156 eggs are produced per individual annually (Ref. 41250).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered(A2cd+4cd) (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:  Reported from 50-600 m depth.

Entered by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 13.03.93
Modified by: Sampang-Reyes, Arlene G. - 06.04.10
Checked by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 13.04.94

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