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Species: Rostroraja bahamensis, Bahama Skate

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top of disc: no denticles
center disc behind nape: no thorns
tail thorns: 1 row 34-37 to D1, 3-5 between Ds
pectoral base - 1-2 dark centered ocelli

Rostroraja bahamensis Bigelow & Schroeder, 1965

Bahama Skate

Disc rhomboidal, front margins sinuous, outer corners abruptly rounded, rear edges rounded; disc width 1.3+X length; snout rigid, tip with sharp pointed, before eyes 15% of TL; 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; pectoral rays not extending along sides of snout to near its tip; pelvic fin with 2 distinct lobes joined by membrane, rear lobe large; tail ~50% of TL, with a narrow skin fold down each side behind level of pelvic tips; 2 small dorsal fins near rear of tail, similar in shape, 1st slightly larger, close together but no confluent, with tail fin a very small fold (length ½ length of 2nd dorsal base) confluent behind 2nd dorsal; thorns on upper surface of disc: a few very small thorns on front of snout cartilage, 7-11 thorns around inner edges of eyes (sometimes with a gap in center); nape with a row of 1-4 thorns; a central row of 34-47 alternating large and small thorns from between pectoral insertions to 1st dorsal fin, that row becoming irregular at rear; 3-5 thorns between dorsal fins; a row of 14-15 horizontally oriented, back-pointing thorns along front edges of disc behind level of spiracles; upper surface of disc free of denticles; lower surface with denticles at end of snout and in a dense band along front edges of disc from tip of snout to opposite 1st gill opening.

Upper surface pale grey-brown, with a pair of eye-sized, round ocelli, with brown centers and pale outer edges, near the base of and a little behind widest part of each pectoral, occasionally with a 2nd pair of smaller ocelli, behind 1st, near pectoral axils; lower surface white, mucous pores on underside unpigmented.

Lives on soft bottoms.

Reaches 54 cm.

Depth range: 366-412 m.

Bahamas and S 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
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • 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 + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 54
Depth Range Min
  • 366
Depth Range Max
  • 412