Raja brachyura

Author: Lafont, 1873

Raja (Raja) brachyura Lafont, 1873

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Bathyraja brachyurops (Fowler, 1910) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: upper surface wholly prickly, except in juveniles; underside only prickly along front margins of disc, in large adults also along body. Tooth rows 60-90. Orbital thorns separate; a regular median row of 40-45 thorns from nape to first dorsal fin in juveniles and adult females, interrupted on back in males. Colour: upper surface ochre, with numerous small dark spots to margins of disc; a few light blotches encircled by dark spots may occur; underside white. Size: to about 120 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic, from inshore waters to about 100 m, mainly on sandy bottoms; locally common. Food: all kinds of benthic animals. Reproduction: oviparous about 30 egg-cases laid, mainly from February to August, about 120 by 80 mm (excluding horns), development of embryos almost 7 months. Regularly landed, mainly in northern Europe.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts from Madeira, and Morocco north to the Shetlands, English Channel and western part of North Sea (less common); also western Mediterranean (relatively rare; one doubtful record from northern Aegean).

Complementary iconography. Clark, 1930, in Faune ichthyol. Atl. N., fiche 38.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Williamson, 1913: 2, fig. 10 (egg-capsule) | Clark, 1922: 608-614, fig. 8-10 (egg-capsules and young); 1927: 665-682, fig. 2-4, 6-10 (embryos).