Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 579–587 | Cite as

Color aberrations in Chondrichthyan fishes: first records in the genus Bathyraja (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes: Arhynchobatidae)

  • J. S. BigmanEmail author
  • J. D. S. Knuckey
  • D. A. Ebert
Original Paper


Two softnose skate specimens with abnormal coloration, one complete albino and one partial albino (leucistic), were captured during fishery-independent trawl surveys. The complete albino specimen was collected in 2007 in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and the leucistic specimen was collected in 2011 off northern California. Based upon meristic and morphometric measurements, the albino skate specimen was identified as the Aleutian Skate, Bathyraja aleutica, and the leucistic skate specimen was identified as the Roughtail Skate, Bathyraja trachura. These are the first documented cases of any type of albinism in the genus Bathyraja. A comprehensive review encompassing reported cases of any type of albinism in Chondrichthyans from peer-reviewed literature to-date is provided.


Albinism Leucism Softnose skate Pigmentation 



The authors thank the following individuals for their assistance during the course of this study: Simon Brown (Pacific Shark Research Center/MLML) for collecting the specimen of B. aleutica; Keith Boswell and Dan Kamikawa (National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, NWFSC) for help with the collection of the specimen of B. trachura. This study was supported by funds from NOAA/NMFS to the National Shark Research Consortium, the North Pacific Research Board under project number 621 and the Pacific Shark Research Center. This is North Pacific Research Board publication 570.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Shark Research CenterMoss Landing Marine LaboratoriesMoss LandingUSA
  2. 2.South African Institute for Aquatic BiodiversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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