We are all about diverse representation here at The Fins United Initiative (TFUI) and we are excited to show off a rare pale blue skate. Smooth as butter (it lacks spikey bits), has a heart-shaped disc, and a long slender tail... the eastern looseskin skate (Insentiraja laxipella) is a definite looker! With a flexible snout and greyish-brown pelvic fins and an indistinct caudal fin, these flabby skates only have a patch of scales on their pectoral fins (called an alar patch) in the males. #Finfact: These skates have no dorsal fin! The eastern looseskin skate is unique among Australian skates in that it lacks dorsal fins.
Eastern looseskin skates are endemic to the continental slope in Queensland. This species is known from very few specimens and nothing is known of its biology. Because of this, the IUCN has assessed them as Data Deficient (DD). However, scientists will want to keep an eye on this animal as Insentiraja laxipella could be generically distinct. #Finfact: The name laxipella is derived from the Latin laxus (loose) and pellis (skin), in regards to this skate's flabby skin!
What little we do know is that they are an oviparous species and can get up to at least 57 cm total length (TL) (Last and Compagno 1999), at which males are mature (Last and Stevens 2009). We can only assume the rest from species like it...
did you know about these animals?
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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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