Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes
(Skates and rays) > Rajidae
Etymology: Malacoraja: Greek, malakos = soft + Latin, raja, -ae = ray, fis (Raja sp.) (Ref. 45335). More on author: Barnard.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 450 - 1570 m (Ref. 117245). Deep-water; 67°N - 38°S, 72°W - 25°E
Eastern Atlantic: Baffin Bay-Davis Strait Offshore to Iceland-Faeroe Ridge, off northwest Africa (Rio de Oro), off southern Namibia and South Africa.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4426)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Very broad, almost pentagonal disc, light above and abruptly dark below; snout bluntly pointed with a flexible tip, eyes small and close together, and a disc with broadly rounded rear margins and tips (Ref. 5578). Small juveniles with and adults without thorns and covered only with small denticles (Ref. 5578). Slate-grey or greyish-brown above except rear margins of pectoral and pelvic fins and claspers of adult males which are dark brown; dark brown below, sometimes with light blotches (Ref. 5578). Lack of large thorns on its disc posterior to the scapular region (Ref. 6902).
A very rare species inhabiting continental slopes and probably down to the abyssal plains (Ref. 3167). Benthic (Ref. 58426). Adults usually at depths greater than 1,500 m while juveniles are mainly taken from about 450 m downward (Ref. 4426). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 4426. Feeds on crustaceans (Ref. 58426). Oviparous (Ref. 50449). Eggs have horn-like projections on the shell (Ref. 205).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous (Ref. 3167). Paired eggs are laid. Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449).
McEachran, J.D. and K.A. Dunn, 1998. Phylogenetic analysis of skates, a morphologically conservative clade of elasmobranchs (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae). Copeia 1998(2):271-290. (Ref. 27314)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 3.3 - 8.5, mean 5.9 (based on 122 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00562 (0.00271 - 0.01168), b=3.13 (2.95 - 3.31), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.50 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100) .