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Species: Breviraja nigriventralis, Blackbelly Short Skate

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

disc heart-shaped, front edge undulating
snout flexible, short, blunt
3 central rows thorns: nape to D
C: with lower lobe
under disc dark
lower jaws with central spatula
pelvic: front lobe 65-80% rear lobe

Breviraja nigriventralis McEchran & Matheson, 1985

Blackbelly Short Skate

Heart-shaped disc, slightly wider (1.16X) than long, with front margins undulating, tips of pectorals round; snout flexible, short, blunt, supported to near its tip by a cartilage with a very slender tip; pectoral rays extending nearly to tip of snout; eyes on top of head, with spiracles immediately behind; nostrils a little in front of mouth, with front lobes from nostrils forming a curtain between them and mouth; mouth strongly arched on each side of center, center of lower jaws like a spatula that overlaps indented center of top jaw; pelvic fin with 2 distinct lobes joined by membrane, rear lobe large, front lobe 76-90% length of rear lobe; upper surface of disc evenly covered with small denticles , sparse on rear lobe of pelvic, absent on front lobe; thorns not conspicuously large, with smooth basal cones, 6-9 in a semicircle around inside edges of eyes, a triangular patch of 11-23 on nape and shoulders, 3 central rows of small thorns from behind shoulders to first dorsal fin, with another row on each side from center of disc to middle of tail; underside of disc and tail smooth; tail 1.45-1.6X length of disc, width of its base distinctly >eye; tail with 2 dorsal fins, those touching at base; tail fin with upper lobe that is ½ height of 2nd dorsal fin &, lower lobe present, short and very low; side of tail with a narrow fold along rear ¼ to tail tip; sex organs of males rod-shaped, tapering to a narrow tip.

Top surface of disc tanish grey to black; dorsal fins and tail fin black; lower surface black, except for pale areas under snout, center of belly, front of pectoral axils and rear margin of disc.

Reaches 44 cm.

On soft bottoms

Depth range 549-805m.

Panama to French Guyana

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 44
Depth Range Min
  • 549
Depth Range Max
  • 805