Ichthyological Research

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 38–48 | Cite as

Bathyraja leucomelanos, a new species of softnose skate (Chondrichthyes: Arhynchobatidae) from New Caledonia

  • Samuel Paco IglésiasEmail author
  • Lauriana Lévy-Hartmann
Full Paper


A new species of softnose skate (Arhynchobatidae) is described, based on a single adult male measuring 895 mm TL that was collected at a depth of 953–1,022 m on the Coriolis Bank off western New Caledonia in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The specimen conforms to the genus Bathyraja in having the rostral cartilage continuous with the neurocranium and very slender and uncalcified over its length. Bathyraja leucomelanos sp. nov. differs from its congeners through a combination of the following characters: distinctive coloration of the disc with white dorsal and black ventral surfaces, dorsal surface of the disc entirely covered with dermal denticles, ventral surface naked, anterior portion of the anterior margin of the disc straight, snout long and very broad with orbit about 6.0 times in preorbital length, orbit 0.73 times interorbital width, mouth 6.8% TL, tail 0.88 times precloacal length, accessory terminal 2 cartilage of the clasper having an expanded disc-shaped tip, and alar thorn tip undulating. Molecular barcoding from the COI sequence reveals that this new species is genetically close to B. spinicauda from the North Atlantic Ocean.


Rajiformes Bathyraja New species New Caledonia Deep waters DNA barcode 



We thank J.-F. Barazer and fishermen of the trawler Opéra for their help with specimen collection; B. Richer de Forges for support at the IRD center of Nouméa; The “Affaires Maritimes, Service de la Marine Marchande et des Pêches Maritimes de Nouvelle-Calédonie” and the ship’s manager “Armement Calédonien à la Pêche” for allowing the authors to board the trawler Opéra; the “Centre hospitalier de Cornouaille–Concarneau” for X-rays, G. Mascarell for SEM photographs, D. Sellos for molecular analyses, J. Pogonoski for sending references, and I. Tkach for translating the Russian reference.


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Paco Iglésias
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lauriana Lévy-Hartmann
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environment and Aquatic Populations USM 0405, Station of Marine Biology of ConcarneauNational Museum of Natural HistoryConcarneau CedexFrance
  2. 2.Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems, UMR 7208 CNRS/MNHN/IRD/UPMCParisFrance
  3. 3.Insular Laboratory of Living Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of New CaledoniaNoumea CedexNew Caledonia

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