Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes
(Skates and rays) > Rajidae
(Skates) > Rajinae
Etymology: Dipturus: Greek, di = two + Greek, pteryx = fin (Ref. 45335).
Junior synonym Raia intermedia Parnell, 1837 (= Dipturus intermedius) is considered valid in CofF ver. January 2018 following Last et al., 2016 (Ref. 114953). Its synonymy under the current species will be removed.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 100 - 1000 m (Ref. 4426), usually 100 - 200 m (Ref. 4426). Subtropical; 69°N - 12°N, 30°W - 42°E
Eastern Atlantic: Norway, Iceland, the Faroes to Senegal, including western Mediterranean and western part of the Baltic. Extirpated by trawling from much of its former range (Ref. 27438).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 160.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 285 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3261); max. published weight: 97.1 kg (Ref. 40637)
soft rays: 0. Snout very long and pointed; length before eyes 2,5-4,0 times distance between them; disc broadly rhombic with acute outer corners; upper surface and underside smooth in young, partly prickly in larger specimens; no thorns on disc, a row of 12-18 thorns along tail; 40-56 tooth rows; upper surface olive-grey or brown with a variable pattern of light spots, underside ashy-grey to blue-grey (Ref. 3167).
Benthic species in shelf and slope waters with a wide tolerance for depth and temperature (Ref. 4426). Found in coastal waters mainly within the 200 m range (Ref. 3167). Feeds on all kinds of bottom animals, including other skates (Ref. 114953), large individuals prefer fish (Ref. 3167). Oviparous. Males reaches maturity at ca. 115 cm TL, females at 123 cm TL; birth size at ca. 21 cm TL (Ref. 114953). Distinct pairing with embrace. Young may tend to follow large objects, such as their mother (Ref. 205). Mate in spring and the egg capsules are laid during the summer. Eggs are oblong capsules with stiff pointed horns at the corners deposited in sandy or muddy flats (Ref. 205). Egg capsules are 10.6-24.5 cm long and 5.0-14.5 cm wide (Ref. 41250). About 40 eggs per individual are laid annually (Ref. 41250). Flesh is marketed fresh or smoked (Ref. 35388).
Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Egg-cases laid in spring and summer, very large (Ref. 3167). Distinct pairing with embrace. Young may tend to follow large objects, such as their mother (Ref. 205). Eggs have horn-like projections on the shell (Ref. 205).
McEachran, J.D. and K.A. Dunn, 1998. Phylogenetic analysis of skates, a morphologically conservative clade of elasmobranchs (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae). Copeia 1998(2):271-290. (Ref. 27314)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 7.1 - 15, mean 9.8 (based on 243 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00331 (0.00171 - 0.00640), b=3.20 (3.04 - 3.36), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (K=0.06; tm=11; tmax=51).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (86 of 100) .