Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Fenestraja atripinna, Blackfin Pygmy Skate, Blackfinned Window Skate

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

top pale brown
central disc thorns: 1 row at front, gap, 3 rows at rear
shoulder 3-4 thorns
Ds & C black
Ds far apart
no pits at corners nasal curtain
under tail + denticles

Fenestraja atripinna (Bigelow & Schroeder, 1950)

Blackfin Pygmy Skate, Blackfinned Window Skate

Heart-shaped disc with front margins slightly undulating; disc width 1.2X disc length; snout short (before eyes 10% TL); tip of snout pointed, flexible, not elongate; front pectoral fin rays extend nearly to tip of snout; eyes on top of head, large (~space between them), with spiracles immediately behind; nostrils a little in front of mouth, with front lobes from nostrils forming a curtain between them and mouth; no nasal pits before and above nasal curtain; pelvic fin with 2 distinct lobes joined by membrane, front lobe 90% of length of rear lobe; tail 64-65% of TL, base narrow (<eye), lateral folds on rear 2/3; 2 small dorsal fins near rear of tail, with tail fin as a fold behind the second dorsal, distance between them > length of base of the first dorsal; upper surface densely covered with denticles, except tip of snout and rear edges of disc; 12-13 small thorns around inner edges of eyes; 3-4 thorns on each shoulder, nape with a row of 6 then a gap then a central row of 60+ to 1st dorsal fin, those becoming smaller and more separated towards rear, 1 row on each side of rear central disc row, those grading into denticles on tail; tail with dense denticles, a row of small thorns low on each side, denticles between dorsal fins; with denticles on underside of tail.

Upper surface pale pinkish brown; dorsal and tail fins black; tail whitish, with chocolate blotch at front; skin folds on sides of tails transparent at front, black at rear; lower surface chocolate, with whitish blotches before gill slits, rear lobes of pelvics white.

Reaches 29 cm.

Habitat: soft bottoms.

Depth: 366-951 m.

North Carolina to Cuba.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • 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 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 + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 29
Depth Range Min
  • 366
Depth Range Max
  • 951