MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Undulate ray (Raja undulata)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

The undulate ray Leucoraja circularis is a moderately sized skate and can grow up to 1 m in length. It has a dorsoventrally flattened body with eyes and spiracles at the top of the head. It has a pointed snout. The tail, which is slender, starts from rhomboid pectoral discs. It can be distiguished by the brightly coloured dorsal surface with dark stripes and white spots.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found off the southern and western coasts of England as well as the coasts of Wales and much of Ireland. Most common in the English Channel.

Global distribution

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Habitat

The undulate ray is an offshore demersal species with a depth range of 50-200 m often found on sandy bottoms.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Up to 1 m in legth.
  • Brightly coloured dorsal surface with dark stripes and white spots.
  • Pointed snout with a prickly underside.
  • The tail is only slightly longer than the body.
  • Upper surface covered in spines.

Additional information

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Bibliography

  1. Ebert, D.A. & Sulikowski, J.A. (eds.), 2007. Biology of skates. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 80, 107-349.

  2. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2008-02-18

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. McEachran, J.D. & Dunn, K.A., 1988. Phylogenetic analysis of skates, a morphologically conservative clade of elasmobranchs (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae). Copeia, 2, 271-290.

  5. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  6. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

  7. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Raja undulata Undulate ray. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/71

Last Updated: 17/04/2008