Raja maderensis Lowe, 1838
Madeiran ray
Raja maderensis
photo by Wirtz, P.

Family:  Rajidae (Skates)
Max. size:  85 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  bathydemersal; marine; depth range - 500 m
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: endemic to Madeira; possibly Azores. Nominal records from western Africa and the Canary Islands could not be verified and are probably misidentifications.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. Upper surface wholly prickly, underside almost entirely prickly; orbital thorns separate, a regular row of 21-25 large thorns from nape to first dorsal fin; upper surface dark brown with a constant pattern of irregular light spots forming broad undulating transverse bands with narrower unspotted bands between, underside white, but grey on snout and broad dark margin to disc from behind midpoint of anterior margin, also blackish at tip of tail (Ref. 3167).
Biology:  Feeds on all kinds of benthic animals (Ref. 3167). Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Eggs have horn-like projections on the shell (Ref. 205).
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (VU); Date assessed: 11 December 2014 (D2) Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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