The mid-continental slope in the Great Australian Bight seems to be home to many animals, including the blotched skate (Notoraja sticta)! Known only from a few specimens, much is unknown (like diet and reproduction method). However, that doesn’t take away from how pretty these animals are.
With a dorsal side being primarily white, it’s adorned with large, grey-brown blotches whose pattern varies in each individual. These blotches tend to cover the majority of the disc, and are often centralized. Their dorsal fins are uniformly grey while tail tends to be pale in color and is covered in thorns—ouch! With a pointed snout in both females and males, their disc shape does vary by sex. Mature males tend to be more heart-shaped while females tend to be more sub-circular. For the males, their claspers are white. These skates can get up to 63 cm in length, while males maturing at 52 cm (unknown for females).
#Finfact: Have you found a dead blotched skate (Notoraja sticta)? Please consider donating it to your local museum or contact your local aquarium to see what the next step(s) should be. The IUCN has assessed these animals as Least Concern (LC).
ever heard of this skate?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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