Ichthyological Research

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 77–83 | Cite as

Molecular systematics of the skate subgenus Arctoraja (Bathyraja: Rajidae) and support for an undescribed species, the leopard skate, with comments on the phylogenetics of Bathyraja

  • Ingrid B. SpiesEmail author
  • Duane E. Stevenson
  • James W. Orr
  • Gerald R. Hoff
Short Report


Sequence variability in the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene from 226 samples of the species previously considered Bathyraja parmifera (Rajidae) revealed three distinct haplotypes, one of which represents an undescribed species, the leopard skate. Further genetic examination of four closely related North Pacific and Bering Sea skate species, Bathyraja parmifera, B. simoterus, B. smirnovi, and the leopard skate in comparison with 19 related species indicates that together these four species comprise the subgenus Arctoraja. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that Arctoraja is monophyletic, but that the genus Bathyraja may be paraphyletic due to the phylogenetic position of Rhinoraja.


Arctoraja Cytochrome oxidase COI Molecular systematics Alaska skate Leopard skate 



We would like to thank the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington Fish Collection for their support, as well as those who contributed to sample collection. We would also like to thank Michael Canino (AFSC), Christopher Kenaley (UW), Beth Matta (AFSC), Bobette Dickerson (AFSC), Katherine Maslenikov (UW), Thomas Hollowed (AFSC), Theodore Pietsch (UW), Paola Pasolini (University of Bologna), Gento Shinohara (NSMT), Mamoru Yabe (HUMZ), and Kazuhiro Nakaya (HUMZ). This research is contribution EcoFOCI-0741 to the NOAA’s Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations.

Supplementary material

10228_2010_185_MOESM1_ESM.doc (56 kb)
Table S1 (DOC 56 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid B. Spies
    • 1
    Email author
  • Duane E. Stevenson
    • 1
  • James W. Orr
    • 1
  • Gerald R. Hoff
    • 1
  1. 1.National Marine Fisheries ServiceAlaska Fisheries Science Center, Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering DivisionSeattleUSA

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