Irolita westraliensis sp. nov., adult male holotype (CSIRO H 3243–01, 348 mm TL, fresh): A, dorsal surface; B, ventral surface. In: LAST, P.R. & GLEDHILL, D.C. 2008 A new species of round skate, Irolita westraliensis sp. nov. (Rajoidei: Arhynchobatidae), from northern Western Australia. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper, 21: 173-181
The Western round skate (Irolita westraliensis) is found on the outer continental shelf off northwestern Australia and can get up to 43 cm in length. These skates are a brown colour with bluish spots on their dorsal side. Their dorsal fins and claspers are also brown, while the skate is a pale colour below. This pale colour can be a grey green to brown colour.
Lots of brown. Anyone starting to think of chocolate and getting hungry? You wouldn’t want to eat this animal, though- it has thorns along its long tail, yeouch!
Besides this basic biology (and the fact that males mature at about 35 cm in length), they are a largely mysterious animal. They are the second member of the endemic Australian genus Irolita, and more research needs to be done on them. The IUCN has currently assessed them as Data Deficient (DD).
ever heard of this skate?
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