The Monterey Skate (Raja montereyensis) was first described from an immature female specimen taken near Santa Cruz, California. According to Walford (1935), between and in front of the eyes the Monterey Skate has a groove with bony sides, whereas the Starry Skate (R. stellulata) 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. At the base of each pectoral fin there is a dark spot surrounded with a ring of small dark irregular spots; 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. According to Ebert (2003), R. montereyensis is now considered a junior synonym of R. stellulata.
- Barnhart, P. S. 1936. Marine fishes of Southern California. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Ebert, D.A. 2003. Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras of California. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- 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 Fish Bulletin No. 45. California State Fisheries Laboratory, Terminal Island, California.
Catalog Number: USNM 75806
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Illustration; Radiograph; Photograph
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Monterey Bay, California. Pt. Pinos Lt. Ho., N. 64 Degrees E., 2.1 Miles., California, United States, Pacific
Depth (m): 48 to 51
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