Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Raja binoculata, Big skate

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout hard, long, blunt point, triangular
back thorns: eyes, 1 midback, central row behind pelvics
underside smooth
pelvic - weakly concave rear edge

Raja binoculata Girard, 1855

Big skate

Rhomboidal disc of flattened, pointed head, body and pectoral fins; front edges of disc straight; snout hard, long, bluntly pointed, triangular; large spiracles behind eyes; pelvic fins with 2 distinct lobes, rear one large, with a weak notch; spines on rear borders only of ventral side; 2 small dorsal fins at rear of tail, no tail fin; spines around eyes (buried in skin in large fish), none on shoulders, 1 on mid-back, a central row from (or behind) pelvic fins backward along tail; large adults with small denticles on upper surface.

Upper surface grey, brown, red-brown to black, with many small white spots, sometimes forming rosettes; dark mottling and two prominent eyespots; lower surface pale, sometimes with dark blotches.

Size: 244 cm.

Habitat: soft bottom.

Depth: 1-800 m.

Alaska to the Gulf of California.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Continent
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • California province, primarily
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Near threatened
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 244
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 800