PORT PHILLIP BAY


Thornback Skate 

Dentiraja lemprieri (Richardson, 1845)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Additional information in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Ray-like fishes with an extremely flattened bodies with wing-like pectoral fins fused to the head and body usually with thorn-like denticles on the top, lobed pelvic fins, and a long slender tail usually with several fins and no venomous spine. Skates are the most diverse group of rays.

Family level detail.
Small to large skates with extremely flattened round to rhomboid discs with variably-shaped snouts with a central cartilaginous support, 5 gill slits on the underside, patches of thorns and granular denticles on top, lobed pelvic fins and a slender tail, usually with 1-2 dorsal fins and a small fin at the end.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Superorder:
Batoidea
Order:
Rajiformes
Family:
Rajidae
Genus:
Dentiraja
Species:
lemprieri

General Description

A small skate with a subcircular disc; snout short, supported by a firm rostral cartilage; tail short, broad, flattened; two dorsal fins near the end of the tail; thorns present along the middle of the back from behind the eyes to the tail, above the eyes, and near the outer margins of the wings. Greyish, to blackish or brown with lighter and darker reticulations and blotches; pale below with a dark tip to snout. To 55 cm.

Biology

This common species feeds on small fishes and crustaceans. Females lay small leathery rectangular egg cases that are often called 'mermaid's purses'.

Habitat

Muddy bottoms in shallow bays and estuaries and along the coast, in depths of 0-170 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Stingrays, stingarees and allies

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

55 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Thornback Skate, Dentiraja lemprieri, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6580

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