Raja oxyrinchus

Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Raja (Dipturus) oxyrinchus Linnaeus, 1758

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

Diagnosis: snout extremely long and pointed, disc broadly rhombic with acute outer corners, anterior margins very deeply concave. Upper surface almost smooth in young, gradually becoming almost entirely spinulose in adults, but bare patches on pectoral fins. No thorns on disc except for small thorns in front of eyes in smaller specimens; a row of 4-11 thorns (more or less worn off in adults) along tail, 0-1 thorn between separate dorsal fins, and thorns along lower edges of tail in adults; underside smooth in young, becoming almost entirely spinulose in adults, but bare patches on pectoral fins. Colour: upper surface from light brown in juveniles to dusky brown or grey in larger specimens, with a pattern of more or less distinct light spots and black dots; underside almost dark brown to blue-grey, lighter in young; mucous pores on both sides of disc marked as black dots and streaks, very numerous on front two-thirds of disc underneath. Size: to about 150 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic in about 90-900 m, but mainly around 200 m, moderately common, regularly landed by longliners and trawlers in northern Europe. Food: all kinds of bottom animals. Reproduction: oviparous; eggcases laid from spring to early summer, 150 by 100 mm (average, excluding horns).

Distribution: Atlantic coasts northward from the Canaries, Madeira and northern Morocco to the Faroes, the Shetlands and central Norway, also northern part of North Sea and to Skagerrak; Mediterranean (mainly at around 500 m).

Complementary iconography. Clark, 1931, in Faune ichthyol. Atl. N., fiche 57 | Bini 1967: 171-172 | Muus and Dahlström, 1965: 57.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Williamson, 1913: 5, fig. 9 (egg-capsule).