Raja fullonica

Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Raja (Leucoraja) fullonica Linnaeus, 1758

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Leucoraja fullonica (Linnaeus, 1758) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: snout pronounced, rather pointed. Upper surface entirely spinulose. About 8 thorns usually in a complete row around inner margin of eye, those in middle sometimes reduced in large adults; generally a longitudinal row of 3-9 nuchal thorns; small thorns on scapular (shoulder) area and a median row of thorns on body and tail present only in young; generally a row of about 50 thorns on each side of midline, from shoulder to first dorsal fin in young, but reduced on body in larger specimens, no thorns between the close-set dorsal fins; underside prickly on large areas (except hind two-thirds of pectoral fins). Colour: upper surface plain ashygrey; underside white. Size: to about 100 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic in relatively cold coastal waters and on upper parts of continental slopes in about 30-550 m; moderately common, most abundant around 200 m line in northern parts, deeper in the south; regularly landed in northern parts of area by longliners, indicating a preference by the srecies for rough round. Food: all kinds of bottom animals: the pointed teeth in both sexes may indicate a preference for fish. Reproduction: oviparous; egg-cases about 80 by 50 mm (excluding horns, of which the anterior pair are very much longer than the case).

Distribution: Atlantic coasts from Madeira and northern Morocco northward to southern Iceland, the Faroes, the Shetlands and Norway to Murman coast, also northern North Sea and Skagerrak; western Mediterranean, to Tunisia and western coasts of Greece.

Complementary iconography. Clark, 1932, in Faune ichthyol. Atl. N., fiche 48 | Bini, 1967: 163-164 | Muus and Dahlström, 1965: 57.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Clark, 1932, in Faune ichthyol. Atl. N. (eggcapsule), fiche 48.