First described in 1915 from a specimen taken near Santa Cruz, California, the Monterey Skate (Raja montereyensis), is very similar to (and now generally merged with) the Starry Skate (Raja stellulata). According to Walford (1935), between and in front of the eyes the Monterey Skate has a groove with bony sides, whereas the Starry Skate lacks such a groove, the top of the snout being entirely soft and fleshy. The back is various shades of brown, mottled and spotted with dark brown, and with a dark spot surrounded with a ring of small dark irregular spots at the base of each pectoral fin; this spot is followed by a smaller pale or white spot. These skates, which live in moderately deep water from Santa Cruz to La Jolla (California, U.S.A.), reach a length of between 1½ and 2 feet.. They reproduce by depositing eggs.
- Barnhart, P. S. (1936). Marine fishes of Southern California,. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
- Starks, E. C. (1952). The Adult of Raja Montereyensis Gilbert. Copeia, 18, 2-5.
- Walford, L.A. 1935. The Sharks and Rays of California. California Bureau of Commercial Fisheries FishBulletin No. 45. California State Fisheries Laboratory, Terminal Island, California. View current version