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Species: Neoraja carolinensis, Carolina Novel Skate, Carolina Pygmy Skate

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disc heart-shaped, front edges undulating
snout short, round, tip flexible, pectorals almost to tip
top disc & tail: dense fine denticles
nasal curtain with pits in corners
front pelvic lobe > 80% rear lobe

Neoraja carolinensis McEachran & Stehmann, 1984

Carolina Novel Skate, Carolina Pygmy Skate

Disc shape ~heart-shaped, as wide as long, with anterior margins slightly undulating, outer edges broadly rounded, rear edges strongly convex; snout short, rounded, soft & flexible,10-11% TL, with small triangular process at tip; eyes relatively large (>/= distance between them); nasal curtain in front of mouth with a pair of pits at front corners; tail 57-60% TL, slender, tapering at end, with a skin fold low on each side of rear half; pelvic fin with 2 distinct lobes joined by membrane, front lobe long, narrow and tapering, as long as or longer than rear lobe; upper surface of disc and tail, except rear edge of disc & front pelvic lobes densely covered in fine denticles; underside smooth, except tail edged with denticles to level of 1st dorsal fin; thorns around inside of each eye (8 small), an irregular row of 2-6 along nape, 0-2 on each shoulder; and 75-80 (~40 in juveniles) along center of rear half of disc and base of tail; tail with a narrow band of 2-3 irregular rows of small thorns at base then a smooth groove to 1st dorsal, rest of tail with dense denticles.

Uniform grey-brown above; upper surface of tail with / without indistinct dark cross-bars; lower surface variable: mainly brown with few pale areas to yellowish-white, with belly and rear edges of disc brown.

Reaches 29 cm.

Lives on soft bottoms.

Depth range 695-1010 m.

North Carolina to NE Florida

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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
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 29
Depth Range Min
  • 695
Depth Range Max
  • 1010