Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes
(Skates and rays) > Rajidae
Etymology: Rajella: Latin, raja, -ae = a sting ray (Raja sp.) (Ref. 45335). More on author: Lütken.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 170 - 2050 m (Ref. 3167), usually 300 - 800 m (Ref. 3167). Deep-water; 1°C - 7°C (Ref. 3167); 84°N - 40°N, 75°W - 55°E (Ref. 114953)
North Atlantic and adjacent fringes of the Arctic Region: offshore of Gulf of Maine and slopes off Newfoundland banks and Labrador to southern Baffin Bay, around southern Greenland to Denmark Strait, south of Iceland, and along Faroe-Shetland ridge to the Skagerrak; west of British Isles from Porcupine Bank and Rockall Plateau to Faroe Islands; and off Norwegian coasts to western Barents Sea and Svalbard.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Snout is short and obtuse. Midbelt of its disc and upper surface of its tail are rough with large thorns in irregular rows. Upper surface ash gray to chocolate brown. Lower surface white, grayish white, pale gray or light fawn color, sooty patches on pelvic fins and axils of pectoral fins (Ref. 6902).
Found in deeper shelf and slope waters, in 3-5.5°C water temperature (6902). Benthic (Ref. 58426). Feed on all kinds of bottom animals with preference for invertebrates (Ref. 3167) like copepods, amphipods and mysids (Ref. 6902). 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 3.8-4.2 cm long and 2.4-2.6 cm wide (Ref. 41303, 41251, 41301).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous, paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Distinct pairing with embrace. Young may tend to follow large objects, such as their mother (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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 0.7 - 9.5, mean 3.6 °C (based on 707 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00316 (0.00147 - 0.00681), b=3.22 (3.04 - 3.40), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.2 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (47 of 100) .