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Species: Fenestraja plutonia, Longtail Pygmy Skate, Underworld Window Skate

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top disc dark blotches, tail dark crossbars
center disc thorns: 1 row 45-70 nape to front 1/2 tail
shoulder 2-4 thorns
thorns on center disc & tail large
no pits at corners nasal curtain
pelvic: front lobe = rear lobe

Fenestraja plutonia (Garman, 1881)

Longtail Pygmy Skate, Underworld Window Skate

Heart-shaped disc with front margins distinctly undulating, outer and rear corners broadly convex, disc width 1.2X length; snout short (before eyes 7-8% TL); tip of snout bluntly 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 length =/> rear lobe; tail 64-67% of TL, base narrow (<eye), narrow lateral folds on rear 2/5; 2 small dorsal fins near rear of tail, with tail fin as a fold behind the second dorsal, dorsals confluent at bases; upper surface ~uniformly covered with slender denticles, pelvics smooth; thorns relatively large & conspicuous, up to 12 around inner edges of eyes; 2-4 thorns in a transverse row on each shoulder, a central row 45-70 from nape & along front ½ of tail, those grading into denticles on rear ½, 1 row on each side of tail from rear of disc back along the tail, grading into 1-3 rows to 1st dorsal, then scattered denticles and small thorns to tail tip; no denticles on underside of disc and tail.

Upper surface pale yellowish-brown to dark greyish-brown; skin dark around denticles and rear bases of thorns; disc irregularly and strongly marked with dark spots & blotches, some individuals with small round white spots; tail with 5-7 dark cross-bars, the rear 2 black & crossing the dorsal fins, tail fin partly black; under surface yellowish-white, some times rear edges dark, and tail bars partly onto underside of tail.

Reaches 27 cm.

Habitat: soft bottoms.

Depth: 293-1024 m.

North Carolina to 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)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
  • Reef Associated
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)
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 27
Depth Range Min
  • 293
Depth Range Max
  • 1024