Skates: Clearnose Skate

Raja eglanteria

CLEARNOSE SKATE
Raja eglanteria

 

Identification
Disc angular, front edges nearly straight or slightly concave; snout pointed.  Broad clear areas on both sides of snout (hence the name 'clearnose').  Single mid-dorsal ridge of large spines/denticles.  Disc brownish with dark brown bars, streaks, and some spots dorsally and whitish ventrally.  Well developed caudal fin.  Dorsal fins present and located on tail.

Habitat
Found most commonly in shallow coastal waters but reported as deep as 1,000 feet of water; sometimes enters lower reaches (high saline) of estuaries and bays.

Feeding
Benthic feeder.  Feeds mainly on benthic crustaceans, bivalves, marine worms, squids, and fishes.

Reproduction
Breed while inshore. Oviparous; females deposit leathery dark-brown translucent egg cases, as many as 66 in a single reproductive season. Empty egg cases are often found washed up on coastal beaches; commonly called 'mermaids purses'.

Size/Age
Up to 2.5 feet in wing span

Human Factors
Non-aggressive species of no danger to humans.



FWC Facts:
Seagrasses occupy only 0.1 percent of the sea floor, yet are responsible for 12 percent of the organic carbon buried in the ocean, which helps reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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