Bathyraja smithii (Müller & Henle, 1841)
African softnose skate
Bathyraja smithii
photo by Le Noury, P.

Family:  Arhynchobatidae (Softnose skates)
Max. size:  120 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  bathydemersal; marine; depth range 440 - 1020 m
Distribution:  Southeast Atlantic: off central Namibia to Agulhas Bank, South Africa.
Diagnosis:  A large softnose skate with a broadly triangular, bluntly pointed snout and an angular pectoral disc; tail shorter than body and with a single row of large thorns; upper disc of young with thorns but these are lost with growth (Ref. 5578). Dorsal surface greyish and may have white spots, ventral surface white with dark grey blotches around gill slits, vent and along ventral surface of tail (Ref. 5578). Tail with no color bands (Ref. 5578).
Biology:  Found on the upper continental slope (Ref. 27121). A bottom-predator that feeds on bony fishes including hake, jacopever, barracudina and dragonet; also squid, octopus, crabs and prawns (Ref. 5578). Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Eggs have horn-like projections on the shell (Ref. 205). Sometimes caught by hake trawlers (Ref. 5578).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 24 April 2018 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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