Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DescriptionA large ray with a long pointed snout. Males growing up to 2 m in length, while females may reach up to 3 m in length. The leading edge of the wings is slightly concave and the small dorsal fins near the tip of the tail almost touch. The young have large thorns near the eyes and one row of thorns along the back of the tail, while older specimens lack the thorns near the eyes but have two rows of along the tail. The upper (dorsal) side is brownish-green with lighter spots and the underside dark grey, sometimes with black stripes, spots or marbling. Immature skate under 40lb in weight are jet black underneath which fades to grey as they get larger (Davy Holt, pers. comm.).Following a report in recent taxonomic literature, this species now belongs to the genus Dipturus, although may still be referred to as Raja in some texts, (see McEachran & Dunn, 1988).
Other common names include the 'blue skate' and the 'flapper skate'.