Raja undulata

Author: Lacepede, 1802

Raja undulata Lacepede, 1802

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Raja undulata Lacep├Ęde, 1802 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: snout short; upper surface spinulose, with bare areas on central and hind parts of disc and on pelvic fins in large specimens; usually 0-2 thorns in front of and behind eye; 2-8 thorns along nape, continued as a more or less regular median row of 20-55 thorns on body and tail; 0-2 thorns between the separate dorsal fins; additional parallel and lateral rows sometimes present on tail in adults; underside smooth except for snout and front edges, and prickles occasionally on tail. Colour: upper surface ochre to greyish-brown, typically with several more or less undulating dark bands edged with white spots like pearl-strings; underside white, end of tail greyish-brown. Size: to about 100 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic in shelf waters to about 200 m, preferring soft and sandy ground; rather common, locally exploited in southern countries. Food: all kinds of bottom animals. Reproducfion: oviparous; egg-cases about 90 by 50 mm (excluding horns), mainly laid from March to September.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts northward from Morocco to southern Ireland and south-western England; also western Mediterranean, mainly along African coast. Elsewhere, southward to Mauritania.

Note: the smaller of the two type specimens of Raja atra was found to be this species by Capape and Desoutter (1979).

Complementary iconography. Clark, 1930, in: Faune ichthyol. Atl. N., fiche 41 | Bini, 1967: 1 55-156.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Clark, 1922: 627, fig. 18.