Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes
(Skates and rays) > Gurgesiellidae
Etymology: Cruriraja: Latin, crur, cruris = pertaining to a leg + Latin, raja = a ray (Raja sp) (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 150 - 620 m (Ref. 11284). Deep-water; 28°S - 40°S
Western Indian Ocean: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to Mozambique. Previous records from Namibia to the Eastern Cape Coast of South Africa refer to Cruriraja hulleyi.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 55.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5578)
Morphology | Morphometrics
A rough legskate with a pointed snout covered by large conspicuous white thorns that are also found around the eyes, on the shoulders, and in several rows from the nape to the 1st dorsal fin (Ref. 5578). Legskates have pelvic fins separated into a mobile leg-like front lobe, and a rear lobe that may be fused to the tail base (Ref. 5578). Sandy brown above usually with scattered dark brown and whitish spots (very conspicuous in young and becoming obscure in adults; white below (Ref. 5578). Tail with conspicuous dark brown bandings in juveniles (Ref. 5578).
Found on the uppermost slope (Ref. 5578). Feed on small crustaceans, dragonets, squid, polychaete worms and flatworms (Ref. 5578). 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 4.5 cm long and 2.4 cm wide (Ref. 41249). Caught by hake bottom trawlers (Ref. 5578).
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. 123416)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 11.7 - 17.9, mean 15.8 °C (based on 5 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5039 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.53 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (45 of 100) .