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Raja stellulata Jordan & Gilbert, 1880

Description: The egg cases of Raja stellulata (Figure 11) are large, 91 to 92 mm in length, with MAW about 66-70 % of ECL. The egg case is covered with dense fibers on the dorsal surface, thinner on the ventral. The outer fibrous covering appears as an intricately woven sheath with a wool-like texture. Beneath these fibers the egg case is smooth, with very fine longitudinal striations. The LKW is narrow, <10% of ECL, and not extending onto horns. Attachment fibers are present along lateral keels. Anterior apron border broad and concave, anterior horns become flattened towards the tips and hook inwards. Posterior apron nearly straight, broad, transverse, and about 1-2 mm wider than anterior apron width. The posterior horns are about 5 to 6 mm longer than anteriors, curved, conical and tapering, becoming flattened, but without filamentous tips. The tips are hook-shaped at the ends. Color after preservation a uniform brown.

Remarks: The egg case of R. stellulata has not been previously described. The egg case figured by Cox (1963: figure 5) as this species is actually that of B. trachura . The egg case of R. rhina and R. stellulata are somewhat similar, but can be easily distinguished by the narrower lateral keels present on the latter. Also, the attachment fibers on R. stellulata extend the length of the lateral keels, while the fibers on R. rhina egg cases originate midway along lateral keel of egg case.

Material examined: CAS 224344, 73.2 cm TL, off Davenport, California ( 36.9235 N , - 122.2275 W ), 88 m, 16 April 2004 .


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