Breviraja caerulea

Author: Stehmann, 1976

Breviraja caerulea Stehmann, 1976

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Neoraja caerulea (Stehmann, 1976) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: snout extremely short and obtuse, soft and flexible; disc roundish, outer corners broadly rounded, front margins more or less undulated; tail distinctly longer than body. Upper surface entirely spinulose. Up to 12 small thorns along inner margin of eye; 1-3 thorns on each shoulder and 46 thorns down nape/shoulder region, continued as a somewhat irregular median row of 33-58 thorns on body and tail, but ending at two-thirds down tail; dorsal fins confluent, tail behind second dorsal fin extremelv short; underside smooth. except for lateral bands of prickles on tail. Colour: upper surface of disc and pelvic fins violet-blue, sometimes clouded with greyish-brown; back of body and tail marked off light greyish; tail with 6-9 dark cross-bars; underside usually white, with a broad blackish-brown margin around disc and hind lobe of pelvic fins, also some dark blotches on midbody, tail light; specimens are known with the underside almost wholly dark. Size: to about 30 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic in about 60-1,260 m on the deeper parts of the continental slope and on slopes of submarine banks; found in waters of 6.4-9.1 °C (mainly 6.4-6.9 °C) and a salinity of 35.17-35.33 promille; rare. Food: all kinds of bottom animals. Reproduction: oviparous; a male of 19.6 cm TL was still immature, while one of 27 cm TL had fully developed claspers.

Distribution: slopes around Rockall Trough and also on outer slopes of its surrounding banks (only 16 specimens known, 3 unpublished).

Eggs, etc. Stehmann, 1976 :108-114, fig. 8b, 10c (1 juv. male).